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Florence and two walled cities in the countryside


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large_5550_14724893903589.jpgFlorence’s main cathedral is rather stunning in white, green and pink-coloured marble, complete with intricate patterns and statues.
We had it in our plan to visit Florence [Florence-travel-guide-277415] today and there was no reason to change that plan. It was an hour drive to get there and we managed to park about 10 minutes walk from Piazza Duomo.

The crowds were pretty horrendous. It isn’t something we face very often as we travel to some unusual destinations instead. It wasn’t the first time for either one of us so there was little pressure to do things and tick them off.

The queue for entering the Duomo (free) wasn’t that long but it was slow-moving so we gave it a miss. We admired the Duomo and the Baptistery, walked past the Uffizi gallery and found our way to Pontevecchio.
The bridge, even though built-up on the outside, was open on the inside.large_5550_14724893936086.jpgFlorence’s main cathedral is rather stunning in white, green and pink-coloured marble, complete with intricate patterns and statues.It was lined with jewellery shops on both sides. As we had no interest in jewellery, we walked till we found the statue of a boar which Kim sat on/with at age 5, 21 and 44. He stood next to it and had another photo; I tried to exclude the large Russian group to the best of my ability.

We ate on the way back to the car; it was a lovely meal at a sidewalk cafe at very reasonable prices. Actually, even in the dead-centre of Florence, sandwiches were about the same price as a very ordinary place in Auckland.

It was about 1300 when we drove back to our accommodation for a two hour siesta. At 1600, we set out to explore the two walled cities (villages?) near Staggia. First up was the smaller of the two called Monteriggioni, 15 minutes away.

Arriving at the site, we were puzzled why there would be free parking alongside with paid parking.large_5550_14724893969925.jpgFlorence’s main cathedral is rather stunning in white, green and pink-coloured marble, complete with intricate patterns and statues.And people were paying to park in the paid section! We walked up to the walled city and explored it. It didn’t take long but the sun was scorching. We went up to two parts of the walls that were open (for a EUR3 fee). The fee included admission to the small museum which explained the 800+ year history. For kids of all ages, they had some armoury which one could try out. The chain vests were really heavy!

Continuing to the second, San Gimignano, we were impressed by the size of the city. The central walkway through the city was pleasant and lined with many restaurants. That opened up into a large square. The various alleys led to a few viewpoints.

We sat down for a salad and pasta before driving back to Staggia. Time has flown and this was our final night with the car, for tomorrow we drive to Rome [Rome-travel-guide-278393] to return it back to Hertz around midday.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Italy

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