Tuesday, November 04, 2008
A day in Florence
views from Piazzale Michelangelo
Hello there, how are you all ? Our Italy vacation was very nice, and I realize it's been almost three weeks since we got back and I haven't posted any photos yet. Visiting Tuscany is always a treat, and we visited some really nice villages in Val d'Orcia. The Cinqueterre were not a disappointment but it was Lake Como that stole my heart this time.
Our first day was spent in Firenze, which we had already visited a while back.
What can I say ? Despite the massive crowds of tourists, traffic jams and other issues, I can't help but love this city. We didn't have any plans, except for some shopping, revisiting a few places and eating gelato, so we just wandered around the city at our own pleasure. The last time we'd been here we had such a tight schedule with visiting museums, galleries and everything we wanted, that we didn't have time to just relax and enjoy the city.
We stayed at Villa Sestini again, because we just adore Giovanna and she always treats us so well. The view from her garden is one of my favorites and I can't say enough about her homemade cakes and jams.
Church of Santa Croce
We visited Santa Croce, now without any scaffoldings, went to the food markets (Sant'Ambrogio and San Lorenzo, of course), stopped for a bite of foccacia at Cantinetta del Verrazano (love this place), wandered around the main piazzas and downtown streets, and had a wonderful lunch at the family run Trattoria Mario.
Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio
a break for foccacia at Cantinetta del Verrazano
Then later we crossed the Ponte Vecchio ...
view from Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio, coming from Piazza della Signoria
and made a stop at Beatrice Galli's shop for some yarn
at Beatrice Galli's yarn shop
We tried to visit the Brancacci Chapel at Santa Maria del Carmine but unfortunately it was closed for a wedding, so I guess we'll just have to come back again. I've never seen Florence in the winter and according to Giovanna, January is the least crowded month.
We then went in search of the Torrigiani Gardens, but couldn't find an entrance (learned later that you can only visit it by appointment with a guided tour) so we went back to the centre and consoled ourselves with a gelato at Grom instead. Along with the popular Perché No this is now one of our favorite gelato places in Florence.
waiting in line for a gelato at Grom ... it was worth it
The sunset in Florence is always spectacular, but there's not doubt that during Autumn the light is even more beautiful. We didn't have time to go back to San Miniato al Monte to watch it (our original plan), but Piazza del Duomo was all lit up ...
Dinner was at "Il Toscano", a nice simple ristorante with delicious food (and reasonably priced).
at Piazza del Duomo
Via del Campanile
angolo via delle Oche
Cantinetta del Verrazano
Via dei Tavolini 18-20r
Via Rosina, 2R
Behind Mercato di San Lorenzo in the Piazza Mercato Centrale
Ristorante Il Toscano
Via Guelfa 70/r
Beatrice Galli (yarn shop)
Borgo San Iacopo, 24/r
Just across Ponte Vecchio
More photos at Flickr here