Italy
Piazza della Signoria

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59 travelers at this place:

  • Day44

    Florence and Tuscany

    October 16, 2016 in Italy

    So as you can see we're getting a little slower at posting on the blog...it's about week 7 right now so as you can imagine we've been pretty busy! But of course we want to keep you all in the loop so here is a brief post on Florence.

    We really enjoyed the city and it helped that Rupal had been there before. What we found most fun about Florence were the streets at night. Deserted after the tourists had gone to bed was when we could really appreciate what the city had to offer. The amazing architecture and culture of renaissance art are still preserved in the city which make you feel like you have some how gone back in time.

    We also took a little time to explore Tuscany, the region in which Florence is based. This of course included a wine tour to taste some Chianti Classico. Not only did we enjoy learning about the wine made in the region but we also learnt a lot about olive oil and balsamic which was neat.

    We'll be back Florence, you're a pretty magical city!
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  • Day32

    Firenze

    September 27, 2017 in Italy

    Taking into account all wisdom published on the internet about NOT parking in Florence, we headed off to what was supposed to be the super-dooper new parking lot off the A1 built at the end of the tram line, which was not expensive and features a quick ride on the tram into Florence. Reality = if you didn't approach the super-dooper new parking lot from the A1 autostrade (which we didn't) then you can't actually access it. So what we witnessed was a gigantic brand new parking lot with almost no cars parked in it which we could circumnavigate, but not get into. Frustrating! After driving around for way longer than desired, we parked in some industrial estate hoping we wouldn't be towed/clamped, walked to the tram and scooted into Florence.

    We wandered to the obligatory attractions of Florence, but I have to say that the entire experience was not all that enjoyable and the only thing you could (sort of) get from the experience was a) it would be horrible to be a native to Firenze and have to live in the city positively heaving with tourists and b) Florence is a victim of it's own fame. We heard one American guy stating that it just seemed to be one gigantic shopping mall for tourists. Pretty much summed it up... [I realise this is probably a case of committing culture-lovers' blasphemy. I am sure the city is perfectly lovely if you take all the people out of it.]

    Just as we were waiting for the tram to come home Kate and I wandered into a nearby shopping mall in search of a loo and witnessed two ladies taking their dogs shopping with them, who did "their business" in the middle of the mall (think of this in the middle of Garden City and you could imagine our horror at the sight!) and then just walk off. Gobsmacking.
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  • Day32

    The quest for a football jersey

    September 27, 2017 in Italy

    Finn has been desperate to buy a soccer jersey for EVER! Today as we wandered through Florence we came across a store totally dedicated to soccer gear AND they have gear for Real Madrid AND they customised the jerseys as you watched which, admittedly, was pretty cool.

    Using the money he has been saving up since his birthday and Christmas last year Finn bought the "away jersey" for Real Madrid, got the #7 jersey for Cristiano Ronaldo, and could also get his name on it. One happy boy at the end of it all!

    He realised later he didn't have the shorts, so I guess that gives us something to look out for during the rest of the holiday!
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  • Day27

    Florence

    June 5, 2015 in Italy

    Florence was beautiful, I enjoyed exploring with Jessie and Jayden for most of the day because everyone split off after our walking tour. We went to Zaza for lunch, a place that our walking tour guide recommended - it was delicious.
    During the day we managed to see the Duomo, Basilica Santa Croce, Giotto's Bell Tower, The Baptistery & Piazza Della Singnoria! We were also taken to a Florentine leather craft demonstration which was interesting!Read more

  • Day26

    Red Garter

    June 4, 2015 in Italy

    Tonight we went to Red Garter for drinks and a little bit of karaoke! The cocktails were huge and everyone was getting a bit tipsy. Highlight of the night was when Will got up on stage and sung 'Sweet Home Alabama', he was awesome - everyone was on their feet singing and dancing!

  • Day139

    Florence

    August 7, 2015 in Italy

    With James and Steph in tow we set off for Florence. Its a long travel day so we happily check into our airbnb and settle in for the night watching Gladiator (after being inspired by the Colloseum visit!) on the home cinema (ipad).

    We spend 3 nights in Florence, hitting all the sights (still as beautiful as ever), take lots of photos and buy lots of leather (mainly Steph although Suki got a new handbag too!).

    Inbetween all the photo taking we eat a lot of cheese, ham and olives, drink lots of wine and cook lots of Italian themed dishes. Its actually just really nice chilling out and relaxing with friends after being on the road for a while now.. over 4 months and counting!
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  • Day106

    Florence, Italy

    August 20, 2017 in Italy

    What a beautiful city Florence is!! I didn't know what to expect coming here but having no expectations has meant I haven't been disappointed. It is a very old city, similar to Rome, but the place is so alive with heaps of locals and tourists which automatically makes you love the place. We were able to visit all the main sites in one day but the highlights of Florence include the best spinach and ricotta ravioli in Italy, the best spaghetti and meatballs in Italy, and the best gelato in Italy! Finally we've found some decent Italian food and gelato, I was beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about. Our hotel was up five flights of stairs so a bit of a challenge each day for Nana but the three of us sure did work for our twice a day gelato. The snickers, Nutella and lemon gelatos were amazing!! Florence is interesting in that there wasn't one particular thing that made me love it and as I look back on photos there's nothing spectacular but the vibe of the place was so enjoyable and alive that it is definitely a memorable city.Read more

  • Day13

    Caldo Firenze!

    August 5, 2017 in Italy

    Florencie v nás vzbudila rozporuplné pocity. Teplota se zde vyšplhala na příšerných 40 stupňů, takže láska na první pohled to opravdu nebyla. Museli jsme si k ní najít cestu až druhý den večer po skvělé večeři v restauraci Borgo Antico, kde jsme si objednali místní specialitu bistecca alla florentina (tj. 1 kg T-bone steak) a celou jsme ji sežrali. 😜 Co ještě říci o Florencii? Za návštěvu určitě stojí (nejenom díky výše zmíněnému steaku). Připravte se však v první řadě na opravdu masivní počty turistů. Další četně zastoupenou skupinou jsou prodejci všemožných kravin, padělků hodinek a kabelek. S nadprůměrnými cenami všeho je to dost smrtelná kombinace. Celé to vyvažuje velké množství až gigantických památek. Například u Dómu lze regulérně popřemýšlet o tom, zda zadavatel stavby netrpěl komplexem malého pindíka. 😁 Něco tak velkého jsme již dlouho neviděli. Doporučení na závěr: Hlavní památky sice vidět musíte, ale najděte si nějaké klidné místo a se skleničkou v ruce si užijte tu pohodovější stránku Florencie.Read more

  • Day21

    Florence..yeah...na?

    September 9, 2017 in Italy

    We were at the Siena railway station by 8am for our train for Florence – this was a “Treno Pronto” which meant that is was a fast train although it still took about an hour and a half. The Tuscan countryside is really rather lovely, you pass through a series of tunnels to get past the hills of Siena and then are passing through a wide valley with farms and hill towns on either side. The main crops seem to be grapes, olives and sunflowers, the last having now dried off but which would have been a lovely display a few weeks back. Approaching Florence it is back through a further long tunnel to pass the Florentine hills and into the city.
    Arriving at Santa Maria Nouvella main station we quickly found the tourist office and received our map and helpful directions from the lovely lady. We headed off towards one of the town markets – this was a central food market stuffed with the most wonderful and tempting things (oh to be self catering….mmmmm) and surrounded by leather stalls as well as the usual tourist rubbish. We had a bit of a wander and splashed out on a few purchases.
    The next stop was the large main square of Florence – this contains the main cathedral and bell tower and the baptisry – it also contained SOOOO many tourists and some intermittent rain! The Cathedral, Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the Roman Catholic mother church of the city. It was named for the lily (fiore), the city's symbol. The church was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio. Construction commenced in 1296 and finally completed in 1436 with the help of Filippo Brunelleschi's engineering of the huge dome which is a further symbol of the city. The original façade was destroyed in 1587 and only in 1864 did Emilio De Fabis create the Gothic Revival replacement. The building's exterior is covered with marble panels of various shapes and sizes in shades of green, white and pink and looks kind of like a deranged liquorice allsort. In contrast the interior seems somewhat sparse – it has the usual stained glass and the some paintings, statues etc but compared to some other churches we had seem it was relatively plain, although what did stand out was the massiveness of the structure towering ceilings, massive columns very widely spaced. From there we had a look at the outside Campinalle (bell tower), this was created by Giotto between 1334 and 1337 when he died and Andrea Pisano took over the task until 1348. Francesco Talenti completed the tower from 1350 to 1359. The exterior is covered in a geometrical pattern of Carrara green marble, white marble and red marble from Siena. It is 84.7 m high, however we declined to pay the 15Euro to join the very long line to climb the 414 steps to the top, despite the lure of the view. We also had a look at the outside of the Baptistry – famous for its beautiful doors - eastern door, the Gates of Paradise, is the best known of the Baptistery doors and has ten panels depicting scenes from the Bible. We took photo’s and moved on.
    Heading towards the Uffizi Gallery we kind of hit the wall and needed a coffee (and the toilet) we clearly made a bad choice when we were slugged 10Euro for 2 coffees (We thus felt no compunctions as to utilising their tables to prepare and make our snack of liberated breakfast items and to make free and full use of their toilet facilities). Passing through a square filled with replica art (Including a fake David???) we arrived at the Uffizi only to be told we could wait in the line for about an hour and a half or pay the extra 4Euro to go “straight in”. This turned out to be a fib, we could stand in a line to discover that we could pay an extra 4euro to wait for an hour to get in….. I was REALLY over art and queues and crowds by this time so we gave up on that idea and walked to the Ponte di Vecchio.
    Ponte Vecchio is one of the most striking and “iconic” (I think that is probably an overused word in Italy and tourism) of Florence's six bridges; it is thought to date back as far as the Romans however this structure collapsed from flood damage in 1117 and again in 1333, 12 years later it was rebuilt and then rebuilt again in 1565. The bridge also survived World War II when the German's destroyed all of the city's bridges except this one. The bridge has three graceful arches supporting the covered crossing which was topped with stores (selling overpriced, high-end jewellery to really silly tourists) and houses under the porticos. We strolled across and tool photo’s but didn’t bother with the shops.
    We headed up the hill (it is very steep on the other side of the Arno) to visit the Boboli Gardens – this is a 45 hectare garden (10 Euro… ching ching!) winding up the hill opposite the city. The tourist blurb says: “the Boboli gardens are one of the greatest open-air museums in Florence that embraces another site of culture in Florence, the Pitti Palace. The park hosts centuries-old oak trees, sculptures, fountains and offers peaceful shelter from the warm Florentine sun in summer, the beautiful colours of the changing foliage in the fall and smells of blooming flowers in the spring. The Boboli gardens are a spectacular example of "green architecture" decorated with sculptures” . It was certainly lovely with lots of hedge bordered paths, views and best of all it was quiet and free from the tourist hoards.
    Exiting the Gardens near the Forte Belvedere (a massive star shaped fort that is now the museum of contemporary art – more euros: no thanks, I was over handing out euros to look as stuff, over art and over churches! Do you get the feeling I was not having a great day!?). We then walked down a massive hill before climbing another on (including lots of steps) to Piazzale Michelangelo – this WAS worth it as the view an the lovely cool breeze was fantastic we paused a while to enjoy the vista of the Arno and of Florence AND another fake David statue - I think they infest the city.
    Descending we walked through the city towards the station – pausing for Kirstin to buy some more leather, however as I was brewing a migraine and we were both over the crush and crowds of tourists we decided to take the earlier train option and headed back to Siena on the 5.10pm train. Arriving back at the hotel at about 7pm it was drinks in the bar then dinner (they offered me a lovely Salmon with salad – they ARE trying after all. After diner we were also able to sort out our issues (Thanks to the wonderful girl on reception – such a contrast to the grumpy buggers we had been dealing with) with booking a hydrofoil from Sorrento to Naples on the 16th (I couldn’t work out the Italian website – google translate seemed to be suggesting that I needed to book passage for either my armchar, my baby, my animal or my bicycle!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Piazza della Signoria, Площад Синьория, Plaza de la Señoría, כיכר הסיניוריה, シニョリーア広場, 시뇨리아 광장, Piazza della Signoria we Florencji, Площадь Синьории, Signoria Meydanı, 领主广场

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