Monday, September 26, 2005


It's pretty easy to get from Pisa to Florence
. The trains are frequent - around three per hour during the day, it costs just 5 Euros and takes about an hour.

We arrived in Florence at 11.30am and managed to find our hotel - the 4* Anglo American Hotel in less than 10 minutes - an easy walk from the Santa Novella Train Station, on Via Garibaldi.

Our rooms weren't ready when we arrived so we took a stroll along the Lungarno, by the banks of the River Arno, towards the famous ponte Vecchio. It was a dreary, wet day - a bit like a typical Scottish day, with dark clouds, threatening to rain, but the city still managed to look amazingly picturesque.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

I couldn't stop myself from being snap happy and taking photos from every bridge. Once we reached the Ponte Vecchio, about a 20 minute walk from out hotel, we took a walk by the Uffizzi Museum and into the Piazza Della Signoria, which was packed full of people. Stuart has been to Florence in July before and he said that the number of tourists were around double what they were today. I don't think that I would fancy coming here in July - the combination of the heat and the crowds would make it pretty tiring.

We spent a while wandering around the Piazza, looking at the amazing sculptures, which are huge in comparison to what they look like in photos, and looked around the Palazzo Vecchio (Old Town Hall), which appeared to be shut for the day.

We began our Italian dining experience in true style, at a table on the terrace of a restaurant on the Piazza della Signoria with a huge Pizza cooked in a Wood Fire oven - bellissimo!

After lunch we took a walk round to the Duomo (Cathedral), which is absolutely magnificent. I wanted to climb up the bell tower or the Cupola for some great views of Florence, but decided to wait until tomorrow, since the queues were pretty big and we'd just spent the last half hour stuffing ourselves with Pizza.

Duomo, Florence

We spent the next half hour or so wandering around aimlessly, in the general direction of the hotel, but ended up nowhere near the hotel, thanks to Stuart's "Mystery Florence tour".

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