visit San Gimignano in...
visit San Gimignano in Tuscany. San Gimignano is totally clotted with tourists during the day in the high season, but it's really lovely. The guidebooks recommend that you stay overnight, because most people go there as a day trip. We stayed over and it was indeed very quiet in the evening; I noticed that the Piazza Cisterna was, sadly, strewn with trash from the day visitors.
Again, I'll skip over the main sites, since they're so heavily covered elsewhere. My boyfriend with the morbid leanings decided he wanted to check out the torture museum, something that was obviously developed with the idea of getting tourists separated from their cash. I agreed to go in, however, and it's actually very interesting if you read the text and don't just gawk at the dioramas and so forth. Especially memorable is the a*al (think 'banal' without the b) pear--ergh. Anyway, this museum actually has some educational value, if you're interested in this sort of thing (and aren't too easily grossed out).
If You Want the Luck of Returning to Florence
I read about a bronze statue of a boar known as "Il Porcellino" (or the little pig) over at Mercato Nuovo. This particular statue is a replica of the marble classical original by Pietro Tacca (1612).
I asked the hotel person where "Mercato Nuovo" is and the weren't sure, but when I asked about the pig, they gave me a vicinity and I found it in a market near Piazza Pancrazio. The pig is near
Modern Italian Crafts
In this airy shop you will find very modern handmade items of glass and ceramics and some other types. Several artists are represented. Everything is so beautiful. The moment I walked in the door, I knew I would buy something! It is that kind of place!
I bought myself a small Murano glass pendant, of very modern design. I love it!! Besides jewelry, they have items for your house, too. The young mother of a cute baby boy helped me. They were the ones on duty that day. She didn't speak much English, but I think she said she was one of the artists, but not the one who made my piece.
This shop is right up the street from the Fiorini Letizia, which I wrote about earlier this week, in another Tip! In fact I discovered my pendant on the way to the ATM ( so I could buy my toys!!) ! What a great day to shop it was! Firenze is definitely a place to shop. Expect to pay at least Euros 25.
The best way to get around is...
The best way to get around is on foot. Renting a car is silly. We tried to find a place to rent vespas (motorbikes) but were unsuccessful. If anyone knows where the one place in all of Florence to rent vespas is, please let me know!
It's Pizza time!
IF you don't want to pay a lot of euro for a low quality pizza in a place where people see you as a full wallet of money to empty, let me explain how leave the center and reach another place where you could spend your money for good food. Get up on bus 17 in Via Martelli (the street perpendicular to square on your left if your are seeing Duomo entrance with the Battistero behind you) and get down at Via Ficino stop. Walk back for few meters in Piazza Savonarola. The REstaurant EDI House is waiting you with his CROSTINI CALDI (taste it!) and Pizza, Focacce or grilled meat.
If you want you can come back in Duomo square walking in via Benvieni and straight ahead (crossing Viale Matteotti) in Via Capponi e Via de' Servi. (15 minute by foot) CROSTINI CALDI: a great experience for yuor taste!