Museum of Science
It was starting to rain and it was kind of cold, so we decided to go check out the Museum of Science which is exactly what it is. It is not really a science museum but rather a museum about the history of science. It was entertaining enough and a nice way to pass the hour. They had Galileos telescopes and many early instruments used in electricity and space exploration and chemistry. The guides were very helpful and when they came around they made the self guided tour much more interesting. They didn't allow your camera even in the museum but they did have free lockers to store your things in. It cost us 18 euro for the three of us. And there were no lines and very few people there.
Tuscany in a nutshell
Tuscany in a nutshell
The noble and delicate tuscan landscapes find a place apart in the tourist's memories. Mountains and rounded, sharp-outlined hills under a pure light, plains, woods and vineyards combine with the serenity and the majesty of the rows of cypresses to make a temple of beauty out of this land.
Through a mysterious influence, sometimes called 'the tuscan miracle', this harmony has provided this people with an extraordinary artistic sense, as well as an extremely accentuated freedom instinct. Firenze (Florence), the region's capital city, is the place where the tuscan spirit gets its synthesis.
From a morphological point of view, the region shows itself into many different aspects. At the sea, the tuscan archipelago with its main pearl, l'Isola d'Elba (Elba Island), faces a coast at times rocky, at times flat and sandy.
More south, bordering Lazio - Rome's region - the Maremma area with its melancholy landscapes, was once a marshland where only shepherds lived, while now it's reclaimed and dotted by the white houses of farmers.
In the north, bordering Liguria, the town of Carrara keeps high its supremacy in the marble quarrying industry, this valuable and worldwide exported rock coming from the close Alpi Apuane (Apuanian Mountains).
Southern Tuscany is landmarked by the hills, which are sweet and rich in vineyards in the Chianti area just south from Firenze, pastoral and quiet near Siena, mighty and quite mysterious in the Colline Metallifere (Metalliferous Hills) area, where you can see the white-grey smokes of the so called 'soffioni', streams of spouting steam coming out from the inner depths of the earth.
Porta al Prato
The Porta al Prato is a bit off the tourist track, mainly because it is in the opposite direction from the train station (Santa Maria Novella) of the centre of the city. Still, if you've seen everything that you want to in Florence and have a bit of time before you catch a train, it is a bit of mediaeval architecture to take pictures of in the environs of the station.
The Porta al Prato was erected in 1285 in the sixt round of additions to the walls of the city. It was made shorter in 1526, because new artillery caused too much structural damage to city walls that were high. At the same time, a new awning to protect against rain and the elements was added. There is a poorly maintained fresco, The Madonna with Child and Saints, by Michele di Ridolfo, on the interior of the Gate. Today the Porta al Prato (so called because it lies on the road to Prato) is in a very heavy traffic area on the ring road, at the intersection of Via Fratelli Rosselli, Via Ponte alle Mosse, Viale Belfiore and Via il Prato.
Fun College Hangout
Located in the western edge of the city along the Arno is Florence's largest and most renowned disco. Meccano has both outdoor and indoor dance areas playing pretty much top 40 and Euro Pop hits. Go with a large group of friends. Mostly a younger crowd, though old folks like me feel comfortable as well.
I like that you're able to pay for your drinks with a token, then turn in your token at the end of the night to pay before when you leave. It's was nice that you don't have to whip out your cash every time you want to pay for a drink. No shorts and t-shirts, otherwise casual.
Coffee and Books
I love books and I love coffee, so a combination of both seems like a very good idea to me. There is a large bookstore in the Via Martelli, very close to the Duomo, which has a café in the top floor. We went there twice, as it was so pleasant to sit there. There is an outside terrace, above the bookstore, where you can take your coffee, sit and read. Both times we were there we saw many students sitting ,drinking coffee and doing some homework.
Nobody was rushed, the coffee was very good and a lot cheaper than in the other cafés close to the Duomo.