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Adventures around the world (with Beth and Chris)

Archive for the month “August, 2016”

Five Fabulous days in Firenza

We spent five fabulous days in Firenza – home of the Medici Renaissance family – where art history meets leather ware, and tremendously delicious wine and food!

I am not feeling particularly loquacious, so I think fewer words here are better.

Hotel David – quirky and generous – across the Arno and away from most of the hubbub :

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Statues and art abound alfresco and of course within the fascinating walls of the Uffizi where we took a small tour from an entertaining and knowledgeable woman.She taught us about many of the masterpieces – perspective, style and era of the art, what different colors and symbolism signifies, the commissioners and the artists themselves.

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There was a captivating city tour on Segways, the gigantic duomo with an intricate facade, bridges, clocks, doors, street performers who allow a photo for a few coins, and other interesting people…

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Beyond Florence we wandered through the quiet Roman ruins of Fiesole, popped into Pisa for a couple of corny photos of the Leaning Tower, and then onto the picturesque Cinque Terre:

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We left Florence with our bellies full of pizza, pasta, panninis, gelato, and wine:

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Sandwiched between Florence and Verona legs of the trip, we experienced balsamic and Parmigiano Reggiano  production and tastings in Modena:

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Back into the Fiat “Panda” and on to Verona:

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Good morning, Sunshine!

I am slightly aware of the clinking of a cup against the saucer. As I open my tired eyes, I can smell the coffee as Chris brings it into the room that is gradually becoming light. “Good morning, Sunshine!”,  he says as I groan a little and try to sit up to get that first jolt of caffeine  that will get my body moving. We are in Italy, and it is time to see what this beautiful day has to offer…

 

Chris, my mother – (aka Baba, Babs, BARB!, Mom), and I  arrived in Venice after an overnight flight several days ago from Toronto (en route, we stop for lunch with my good friend Ronnie – meeting for the first time after seven years of playing “Words with Friends” together – so much fun to finally meet face to face!). Ronnie can reasonably let her family know that she has not been conversing and sharing with an axe murderer now….

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We stumble through customs, find the airport water shuttle that takes us through the Venice Lagoon to our vaporetto stop along the Grand Canal. Our hotel is the charming Al Ponte Mocenigo (converted from the residence of an affluent 18th century antiquities dealer)  off the beaten path – but still convenient for everything we need.

 

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From here we find non-touristy restaurants, plenty of shopping, and get the feel of a quieter corner of this unique and alluring city with canals instead of roads, boats instead of cars, pedestrian cobblestone streets, alleys and bridges. It is easy to get lost – despite the intrepid navigator Chris and Google maps GPS – and this is totally fine with us.

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Of course, we make our way to the massive Piazza San Marco in all it’s crowded glory; we encounter music, restaurants, the Basillica, pigeons, selfie sticks, ridiculously lengthy queues (of which we do not join), blobs of spilled gelato, crying babies, souvenir kiosks, and cruise ships in the distance.

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Beyond that, we visit Murano to see a glass-blowing demonstration, and on a different day – Burano for lunch, the ubiquitous lace, and colorful buildings.

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We spend the remainder of our Venice experience with time to wander, rest, shop, eat (plenty of pizza and delicious pastas!), drink wine in the quiet courtyard of our hotel, observe, read, converse with each other and strangers, people watch, ride the vaporetto (water bus) farther than we “need” to, and take pictures.

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Now we are in Florence and we have five days to explore Firenza and the vicinity. Until next time…..

 

PS: if you are interested in more photos, click on the top red “Italy” link to the right

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