In October we took a trip to the beautiful Italia – to Florence and Venice. We spent a week between both places, meeting up with Glenys and John in Venice, and spending a few days prior to that in Florence – which also coincided with our first wedding anniversary (an impossible one for us to top I think:) We had the best time, returning on a caffiene high (how could we not, with Italian coffee), and (at least in our minds) a little more cultured.
Our first day in Florence was spent trying to cram in all of the ‘sights’ a normal person would set out to do in, maybe, 3 days. We of course visited the Duomo, and pretty much every other location with a view of the Duomo (including climbing other towers/large hills with a good vanage point – it’s all about the photos, of course). All I can say is it’s pretty impressive and totally impossible for photos to do it justice, but we tried!
We kept very still for this one, so we could get a night shot with a longer shutter speed. The blurred people passing us by look like they’re travelling fast!
We climbed to the top of a tower (the Torre Di Arnolfo) overlooking the city and the Duomo:
Here’s the amazing ceiling art inside the entrance of the tower museum (one of the many incredible ceiling artworks in Florence, but the only one I was allowed to photograph):
We visited Giardino di Boboli – some large gardens opposite the river with a nice view back over the city:
In the picture below, I assume the man is a local, chatting on the phone, while riding his bike, who didn’t look at all thrilled by the sights that he’s probably seen a thousand times before 🙂
The famous Ponte Vecchio:
The view from the Uffizi:
The Uffizi is incredible and contains so many amazing peices of Italian Renaissance art. However, after visiting this and many other classical art museums, we’ve come to the realisation that we’re keener on the modern art than the classical peices, particularly given we took under one hour to get through all 45 rooms of the Uffizi, which we apparently should have taken us no less than 4 hours to see:)
We took a day trip into the Tuscan countryside, visited San Gimignano, Sienna and Monteriggioni Fortress, all very quaint medieval towns, and did a little wine tasting at a winery on the way home.
We climbed the main bell tower in San Gimignano which was definitely worth it for the view. It’s no wonder Tuscany is loved by all!
In Sienna we had a couple of hours to wander through the town. The Cathedral in Sienna was very impressive – and very similar to the Cathedral in Florence.
We had lunch in the Piazza del Campo, a large platz that we were told stages the famous Palio horse race that runs every Summer – I’d like to see that!
To finish off, we visited a winery and sampled some Chianti wine from the region, made a few necessary wine purchases and headed back to Florence late in the evening.
This was the view over the vineyards at the winery, which reminded me a bit of the Hunter Valley which is just as beautiful, but without the castles that pop up every so often 🙂
After all of our mad running around, climbing towers, taking a ridiculous number of photos of various cathedrals, on our last day in Florence we had time to just wander and take it all in, before heading to the next stop, Venice.
And finally, the mother of all icecreams (which cost 10 euros, to our horror, and contained about 6 scoops of icecream) which I totally deserved after climbing all those towers…
We had a fantastic time in Venice with Glenys and John (‘Venezia‘ in Italian, or ‘Venedig‘ in Deutsch, just to confuse us all). We again covered so many things in such a short time, but I’d have it no other way in such an awesome place with so much to see!
We exhausted the Vaporetto I’m sure, travelling up and down the main canal every day, which was such a great way to see everything. We visited the main attractions including the Piazza San Marco. We also visited some of the modern art galleries which were great, particularly the Peggy Guggenheim art gallery, which is one of the best I’ve been to.
The Bridge of Sighs:
On the Rialto Bridge – where we had to fight hard to even get near the bridge railing for a photo – way too many crazy tourists all wanting the same touristy photo!
Here’s the view from the top of the tower in Piazza San Marco – although we can’t say we climbed to the top of this one – the only way up is via lift, much to Tim’s disappointment 🙂
We took a day trip on the Vaporetto to two islands – Burano and Murano. Murano was great, and was packed with unique and very creative glassware – pity they were a bit funny about tourists taking photos in their shops as there were definitely some photo worthy items.
Burano was very cool – with all of its different coloured terraces, lined up next to each other:
Burano also has its own Leaning Tower of Pisa:
Green pants, green house – why not?!
We spent our last day in Venice wandering the little streets and canals – so magical and something I could do for hours and hours and never see enough.
Chilli bouquets at the growers markets!
Carnival masks sold all year round:
And then it was homeward bound to Francoforte!