Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Summer Holidays, part 2

So, the other Major Event of the summer was our holiday to Florence and Pisa.

We've been to Italy before (Sorrento & Rome) but fancied somewhere further north in Tuscany this time.

Chris spent hours and hours researching where to stay on Tripadvisor before we went, but I have to say, it paid off! Our 3 star hotel in Florence 'Hotel Alba Palace' was literally 5 minutes walk from the station and perfect for the old town.

Me in front of the Ponte Vecchio

Me and Amy on The Ponte Vecchio
We spent 4 days/nights in Florence and had a cultural overload! There are lots of art galleries and museums to see and we did a lot! By far the best was the 'Uffizi' which has an amazing collection of art which even we could appreciate! My favourite painting was 'The birth of Venus' by Botticelli:

The Birth of Venus

Chris had a very near death experience in the Duomo, Florence's Cathedral, as he had his first ever asthma attack as we were almost at the top of the dome, in a very small, hot and stuffy place. It was a scary 30 minutes or so before he managed to get his breath to start walking down again. That's a holiday moment none of us will treasure.

We also visited the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza Della Signoria, Piazzlae Michelangelo, Piazza Della Repubblica, Palazzo Pitti, the Ponte Vecchio, the Galileo Museum and numerous markets.There was so much to see and do in Florence, it really is a beautiful city. The  atmosphere was much more laid back than Rome and the history is totally different, Renaissance, not Roman! We ate lots of pasta, pizza and gelato, drank iced-tea, Peroni and Chianti! (all in Tripadvisor approved places of course!)

View of Florence from Piazzlae Michelangelo

We than had a 1 hour train ride to Pisa for just an overnight stay before flying home. Our 4 star hotel in Pisa 'Grand Bonano' was a bit further from the station, about a 20 minute walk, but great for the Tower! Our first view of the Tower was quite breath-taking- man, does that tower lean! We posed (along with 100’s of other people doing exactly the same thing) for the obligatory ‘push the tower’ photographs, which are actually a lot harder to take than you’d think!

I'm pushing...

Following Chris’ near death experience in Florence, we played it safe and chose not to climb the tower, but went around the Cathedral and museum instead. I’m not sure if there is anything else to see in Pisa as we only had a few hours there, but it’s well worth a visit before the tower leans that little bit too far, or someone does what Amy suggested and ‘rebuilds it straight…’! You can take a horse to water and all that…!

So that was our Summer Holiday, Part 2!


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