Day Thirteen – Tuscany 2015

Today Dawn, Warren, Michele and I have been off to Florence whilst Adam and Joshua have had a day at the Park Albatross looking after themselves. This was not because we didn’t want to take them it was because they elected to stay off their own choice.

Adam was dropped off at our caravan at 10:00 but Josh was still asleep so he spent the first 40 minutes entertaining himself on the iPad. Josh finally awoke and they had time down by the pool and also the main bar area. They’d both been left with €20 for the day too so they could organise some food or play pool.

Meanwhile we were of to Florence. Warren has offered to drive the 1 hour 45 minute drive which gave me the opportunity to take in the Tuscan countryside rather than concentrate on the driving. Thanks Warren I appreciated that. We drive via the autoroute heading first north towards Pisa and then heading east towards Florence. There was only on short section of toll road which was between Park Albatross and Pisa which only cost €4.70, the rest of the trio was a dusk carriageway. Warren had rehearsed the final section of the trip into Florence and the access point to the car park on Google Maps so it wasn’t too stressful. He’d chosen an underground car park by the main station and we were soon parked up.

A quick walk through the station and we were onto the tourist route heading towards Il Duomo di Firenze (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, Florence). Wow what a fantastic building. The white marble with the intricate carvings over ask four sides. This would have taken years even with a hundred stonemason’s. The queue to get in was relativity short. Both Dawn and Michele had already prepared themselves fit the trip by bringing other clothing to cover their shoulders up as this is one of the rules of entry. However if they hadn’t there was an army of locals selling scarf’s to cover up with. The internal space was as equally as impressive with the wide open chamber and vaulted roof. There main roof which is the dome is directly over the alter and was a painted frieze with many characters. The floor was also an intricate pattern of inlaid marble. The internal walls where decorated in places with carvings of saints and there were a couple of stained glass arched windows.

Now back out into the heat of Florence we came across a wedding taking place at Piazza dela Republican, there seemed to be a large continent of police and plain clothes police so that got Dawn and I guessing whose wedding it was only to be told later that it was fit the Israeli prime minister who was visiting Florence! We ambled around the quaint streets heading towards the Bridge over the river. The bridge looked like a setting from Charles Dickens’s London and on either side of the main tourist bridge (Ponte Vecchio) where the jewelers shops ask selling their fine gold jewellery. From here we headed over towards Palazzo Pitti which looked like a large Roman villa with a walled garden. We elected not to go in as we were running out of time and both Warren and I agreed that maybe a weekend trip to Florence was in order so as to explore further.

Similar to Rome, Florence has an abundance of churches of all varying styles and every street corner send to have a picture of a saint or depicts what looks like Mother Mary.

The city is a warm place to be with no breeze so we had plenty of stops for water just to keep hydrated.

We stopped for our evening meal just at the back Il Duomo di Firenze (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, Florence) and had the most delightful meal even though service want the best. Warren had pasta and seafood, Dawn had pasta and broccoli, Michele had risotto and I had pasta with salmon.

As we headed back to the car you could see the for of people changing from the day trip tourists to the tourists who were staying over night and starting to come out for their evening meals all dressed up.

No back to the car, the access point was not the best part of town as there seemed to be groups of men hanging about who looked homeless, if you visit makes sure you find another access point to the car park after dark.

The drive back have us some great views of the Tuscan hillsides shrouded in an orange glow as the sun was setting on the Mediterranean, just a pity my camera battery was flat!

Back at Park Albatross we caught the boys up who seemed to have had a great day to themselves.

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