Italy
Piazza Santa Croce y Basilica

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29 travelers at this place

  • Day13

    Dramatic Floods

    September 29, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    In 1966 Florence was hit by a devastating flood. Over 1 million pieces of art were lost forever and 101 people were killed. It is hard to comprehend the flood but the water was 5 meters high throughout the city. The white plaque above Becky's head shows the level the water reached as does the marker post inside Santa Croce. It us almost impossible to comprehend the damage caused by the water, mixed with mud and oil, as it filled up this beautiful cityRead more

  • Day6

    Frühstück und weiter gehts

    September 4 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    ...nachdem wir ein paar Weg-Croissants und das Auto aus seinem Hotel abgeholt haben (Parkgebühr für 38 Stunden - 82 € - geht auf jeden Fall - Fast so hoch wie der Preis für die 2 Nächte Unterkunft für unsRead more

  • Day18

    Day 18 - Florence Arrival

    September 27, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    I love how much fun we're able to have on travel days! We woke up and had our regular Venice breakfast of toast and fresh fruit. Then we said goodbye to Venice, walking to the train station and passing by several fish and fruit markets. Once we arrived in Florence, we had a couple of hours to kill before Airbnb check in, so we decided to wash our clothes at a laundromat and get a couple of slices of pizza and our first Italian gelato (pistachio and chocolate)!! After we checked in, we relaxed for a bit (and I finished my book!) and then we set off for our first Tuscany dinner. The restaurant we found was a tiny mom and pop shop that was definitely a local favorite - no English menu, few tourists, reservations required, and awesome food. They had a special of pasta with fresh shaved truffles, which is what we thought we ordered. Really, we ordered the mushroom pasta, which was awesome, and a steak, which was also awesome. We finished our meal off with a tiramisu and two limoncello shots. Throughout the meal, Tim practiced his newfound Italian skills and the waitress/owner loved it. She was so friendly and the food was so good that we might return on Saturday for our last Florence dinner (and try to actually get the truffle pasta). After we left, we returned to our Airbnb for another night of wine and chess (this time, we had to make chess pieces out of checkers pieces)!! Awesome day, awesome night. Excited to explore Florence tomorrow.Read more

  • Day19

    Day 19 - Florence!

    September 28, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    What a great long day! We woke up at 7:00 (...the first time before 9:00 or 10:00 in days) after staying up a little too late drinking wine and playing Chess. Then we went straight to the Academia Galleria - the museum that holds Michelangelo's David. Walking in and seeing David was absolutely the most moved by (non-musical) art that I've ever been. The 17 foot tall statue was literally breathtaking. We were lucky to have tickets for the earliest slot of the day when the museum was not busy at all. By the time we left an hour or so later after checking out several other statues and works of art, including a cool mini-museum of musical instruments, it was a madhouse.

    Next, we walked over to the Duomo plaza to check out the cathedral, dome, and bell tower. Again, we seemed to beat the crowd and got some cool pictures all around the outside of the buildings. Instead of climbing to the top of the busy Giotto's Tower, we decided to go to the much less touristy (but equal, if not better, panoramic view, from what I read) Tower of Arnolfo at the Palazza Vecchio). The long climb to the top was definitely worth it. We got a great view of all of Florence with no more than 2-4 other people up there at any given time. The coolest part might have been when we were about to head down and the giant bell on the tower struck 11:00 and rang for all of the city to hear.

    After a quick 2nd breakfast or 1st lunch, however you want to look at it, of meat, cheese, and fruit paninis, we headed back to our quiet Airbnb for a nap. We woke up in time to get to the famous Uffizi gallery for our 2:45 ticket. It was pretty amazing seeing artwork from so many famous artists, including 3 of the Ninja Turtles(!!) (Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo - no Donatello pieces), Botticelli, Caravaggio, and so many more. Then we split a pizza for another quick lunch and went back once again for another break before dinner. We had an awesome dinner - a meat and cheese platter to start, then I had the truffle pasta I was craving from last night and Tim had a yummy red pepper basil spaghetti. Now we are back and debating another night of Chess or an early night for another long day tomorrow!

    Tomorrow - day trip to Siena (I think - we keep going back and forth between Siena and Lucca!!)
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  • Day20

    Day 20 - Day Trip to Siena

    September 29, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We are exhausted! But today was well worth it - Siena was awesome! A beautiful Medieval city in the Tuscan hills. We spent the entire day wandering through alleys and up and down hills. We had an awesome lunch in a several hundred year-old building built into a cave. We climbed 400+ steps to the top of the tower for amazing views of the city and the Tuscan countryside and rolling hills. (I got scared and almost bailed on the tower climb twice, turning around and going back down, until another tourist convinced me to do it - so glad I did!). Then we rode the bus back and watched the end of the sunset on the beautiful journey back to Florence. After a quick pasta dinner, we are ready for bed!Read more

  • Day21

    Day 21-Chianti Wine Tour-Best Night Ever

    September 30, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Wow...what a night! We started the day with a stroll through the neighborhood and our last Tuscan lunch at a restaurant that a local Italian called the "best restaurant in Florence" (caprese salad, spicy tomato spaghetti, and fried chicken with zucchini flowers...YUM!). Then we made our way to the other side of the river to meet our small group for the Tuscany twilight wine tour. The tour started with a wine tasting in the Florence shop with our guide Paulo, learning all about the different Italian wine designations, the different wine regions of Tuscany, and the proper ways to look at, smell, and taste wine. Then, we set off on a 45 minute ride through the Tuscan countryside to a beautiful winery. We met with the sommelier, Anthony, who was incredibly passionate about wine and everything about it - the soil, the hillside, the valleys, the fungi, the fruit trees, the grapes, the barrels, the acidity, the oxygen, and everything else that goes into a single glass of wine. We did a wine tasting in the basement of the winery, tasting several different levels of aged wine. Then we moved upstairs to a 3+ hour four course meal with bottle after bottle of wine. The first course was cheese with honey, onion quiche, salami, prosciutto, bruschetta, and great with white wine and rose wine. The second course was the best bolognese pasta we've had yet with several different red wine pairings. The third course was a shredded beef with tomato sauce and green beens, with more red wine. And the fourth course was a delicious brownie with powdered sugar. Throughout the entire meal, both Paulo and Anthony and Anthony's wife shared stories and facts about everything from the wine to the food to the history behind the different Tuscan dishes. We tasted wine that had been aged since the 1990s that had the darkest, brown color I have ever seen in wine. I learned more about the flavors of wine and process of wine making than I thought possible in a 6 hour tour (that lasted almost 8 hours). We also got to have a great time with three other couples throughout the journey - a couple from Chicago on their 40th anniversary trip, a couple from San Diego on their honeymoon, and a couple from Boston who had also just recently been married. That whole tour was amazing...probably the highlight of the trip so far. Goodnight! Tomorrow we go south.Read more

  • Day39

    Florence continued

    December 21, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 8 °C

    Day 3 in Florence

    I was so awestruck at the Galleria Academia when I saw Michaelangelo's David. At the Uffizi, Ruby declared that one must always check the buns when meeting a naked 3D friend, aka sculpture. Some buns are just not properly baked nor formed. I am happy to report that David has a perfect set of buns. Just perfect in every way.

    Day 4 in Florence

    Saw the Duomo. Magnificent on the outside, austere on the inside. We did not pay to go in the baptistries, and dome because the place was crawling with selfie Asians and rowdy school groups.
    As we were leaving the Duomo, Kai noticed a split in Ruby's boot. Fortunately we found a cobbler to mend it. He not only mended her boot but also proposed to marry her as well. Ruby took her boots and fled.
    We had appetivo at the Westin Excelsior rooftop bar. Appettivo is a pre dinner drink with some finger foods. Some places, like the Westin, have a buffet appettivo. Charges vary. Some places charge another €2 for the buffet appettivo after a drink (can be non-alcoholic) is ordered. Other places offer free non buffet appettivo with an alcoholic drink. Westin's price was €21 for a drink and the buffet appettivo. So us poor travellers ordered one cocktail, stayed the full 2 hours, and had dinner overlooking the lights of Florence where no building can be higher than the top of the Duomo.
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  • Day29

    Florence

    May 12, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Our accommodation was halfway between Florence and Bologna. We had a hard time deciding which city to spend the afternoon in as we leave for Croatia tomorrow. It turned out that Viv and Kez were enroute to Florence the very same day! This was actually unplanned. Despite having said our goodbyes in Positano a few days earlier, we decided to have dinner with them one last time in Italy.

    Everyone was pretty spent from driving/taking the train/sleeping in the car. We decided that this evening would be spent at an idyllic pace, doing things that everyone REALLY wanted to do, like shopping for a leather jacket! Haha. Aaron’s so thrilled!

    It turns out, Viv is quite well-versed in the art of differentiating good leather from bad leather. It’s all in the stitching, she says. The salesmen could sniff out an unsuspecting victim. One salesman demonstrated that a particular leather jacket that Flora was trying on was of supreme quality as it did not burn when he tried to set it alight with his lighter. Oldest trick in the book, Viv says. She saved Flora from the jaws of a wily old fox.

    We didn’t just look at leather jackets. We saw the Duomo (or Il Duomo di Firenze as the locals call it) in the heart of Florence’s Old Town. Once again, we were gobsmacked by what’s in front of us. The exterior had recently undergone a careful clean (water-blasted) to reveal its original splendour. You can tell a marked difference between the sections that had been cleaned and ones that hadn’t.

    We walked around Old Town until it was dinner time at a local favourite. We’ve heard a lot about the Florentine steaks. It did not disappoint. 1kg of T-bone steak was devoured in a matter of minutes by the two of us. Viv and Kez were less carnivorous than us. It was the perfect way to end our time together in Italy. For real this time! Viv and Kez will carry on with their adventures in Cinque Terre and Venice before concluding their Italy trip.
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  • Day5

    FLORENZ.. mit dem Radel durch die Stadt

    September 17, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Wir haben es tatsächlich geschafft, zufällig in unmittelbarer Nachbarschaft zum „Mercato Cascini“ zu nächtigen.. hier geht‘s ab 7 Uhr richtig zu mit Ramsch 📞📻⏱📺☎️⏰🔋📟💎🔦💡⌛️😆
    Also nach dem gestrigen kulturellen warm-up ist erstmal Wochenmarkt angesagt und danach die volle Dröhnung Renaissance, aber vorher zum „Mercato S. Ambrogio“ (im „Da Rocco“ zu unschlagbaren Preis Mittagessen).

    Radtour zum Piazzale Michelangelo:
    War schon mal vor 20 Jahren als bettelarmer Student mit Rucksack hier am Campingplatz, der jetzt ein Botanischer Garten ist. Die Erinnerung hat weitgehend das Zeitliche gesegnet.
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Piazza Santa Croce y Basilica

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