Monday, May 26, 2008

Florence, Pisa and Rome


The three big cities we traveled to in Italy. Yes we covered a lot of ground in our Audi.

The first of the cities we visited was Florence. At first if felt like a big city, but as we walked around, we realized it wasn't a huge city like NY. Everything was easily accessible. We parked at the Piazza Michaelangelo which had a fantastic view of the city. On the Piazza there were vendors selling various merchandise. They actually had the best prices for aprons, luggage and typical tourist purchases. I purchased an apron of David exposed for a friend, however, I don't think he saw humor in it. We went to your typical tourist spots, Accademia and the Uffizi Gallery and not to be missed the Market! Yes, I did purchase leather at the market. Yes do bargain with them. I bought myself and my daughter a leather coat for 80 Euro's each…that's about $120 USD. I thought it was a good purchase. We ate dinner at Il Latini. Make reservations for the 7:30 sitting and don't be afraid to go to the front of the line and state you have reservations or you won't get in. What a blast!! It was such a party atmosphere and we had a wonderful waiter. There was no shortage of wine or food! We shared wine and olive oil with the people sitting next to us from Texas. When we left, we felt we had met new friends at a party.

Pisa…we traveled through the hills and small villages of Tuscany to Pisa…well that's where our GPS took us. Pisa was a dirty city, not to charming. We saw the Leaning Tower and the Church and called it a day, heading back to our villa. We did shop at the market vendor around the tower…prices were higher than Florence and they weren't to friendly.

Rome…what a city! You can equate this to New York City. We dropped of our rental car and took the train from the airport to city center and transferred to a local train to Vatican City. What an incredible tour. We met our tour guide outside the cafĂ© across from the Vatican. Emiliano was ours for the rest of the afternoon and what a fantastic tour guide he was! We entered the Vatican Museum without standing on line and the afternoon started. I can't even begin to explain the artwork but to say it's breath taking and amazing. We were allowed to take pictures throughout except Sistine Chapel. Gee..you couldn't even talk in the Sistine Chapel. After walking through there we went down to see where the Pope's were buried. It was extremely moving when we passed by John Paul's site. That night we ate at a fantastic restaurant in the Jewish Ghetto. The restaurant was DaGiggetto Hostaria. The food was fantastic!! They are known for their artichokes. We tried the fried artichokes and I personally did care for them so I gave mine to Susan. My eggplant Parm was outstanding!

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