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Staying south of Florence


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large_5550_14724718815856.jpgOur lunch stop at Podere Le Caselle.
The drive from Bologna [Bologna-travel-guide-276795] to our next nightstop is only 2h but we took a bit of detour. We left the hotel around 1100 and drove to the small town of Badicorte, east of Siena [Siena-travel-guide-278771] (both further than our accommodation).

Our friends Riccardo had asked us to drop in at his friend Marina’s restaurant (and hotel) Podere Le Caselle. After many tunnels (including some very long ones) on the A1, we arrived at the hotel. We introduced ourselves. Marina didn’t speak English so we didn’t try to make too much conversation.

We opted for the buffet which consisted of salads and grilled vegetables. Exactly what we needed. The semi-dried tomatoes and grilled capsicum were full of sweetness.large_4f4b1bd0-5751-11e8-b870-4db227ac3b6f.jpgOur lunch stop at Podere Le Caselle.The other grilled vegetables had lots of natural flavours too.

We said goodbye to Marina and continued to Siena. Google Maps in offline mode has been god-sent this trip for taking navigating us everywhere. We typically put into my phone the old centre of any city and start looking for parking about 5 minutes before reaching dead-centre, and this worked again.

We walked into Piazza del Campo and explored a little before sitting down for a rest in the shade of the surrounding buildings. It was very hot in the high thirties (degC). Siena’s touristy pricing saw us opting not to have a cold drink in the cafes in the square.

We continued to our accommodation the Palazzo alle Mura in the little town of Staggia, south of Florence [Florence-travel-guide-277415]. It appears to be built from the walls of the old city.large_5550_14724718936043.jpgMany hill-top villages dot the Italian countryside.We had chosen to stay here instead of Florence because (a) we could get better accommodation for the same price, (b) our drive to Rome [Rome-travel-guide-278393] on the last day would be shorter and we wouldn’t have to rush for a midday rental car return, and (c) otherwise our drive from Bologna to Florence would be a rather short day. Yes, admittedly, we would have to backtrack a little to explore Florence.

The accommodation proved to be a good choice. The town was a little quiet in terms eating (or actually everything). Due to the holiday season, some eateries were closed and some weren’t open till later in the evening. We got takeaway pizza and made a salad from a few things gathered from the supermarket.

A whole basket of goodies cost us EUR13 (including EUR3 for a wedge of good cheese), meaning that all the other stuff added to less than EUR10. That’s so cheap compared to New Zealand. Times have changed; we used to dread prices in Europe but now we are pleasantly surprised.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Italy

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