I could write a month’s worth of posts on our Italy vacation….but don’t worry I won’t bore you that much. Instead I am thinking on doing three posts since we went to three different locales and then a final post on packing and planning and stuff because while most of you do not care, I loved the Europe packing list one of my old favorite design blogs, Decorno.
And no I am not a genius and figured out photoshop in a day….I decided that I will worry about that for pictures we decided to hang around the house and not for the blog. Much less stress.
So anyway-Florence. We arrived in Florence with some major jetlag and an entire day in front of us. We did a jetlag no-no and took an hour nap and honestly it was the best decision for us. And then we opened up some wine.
Our entire trip we decided to stay in apartments rather than hotels and since we were going to be in Florence for a week, we got one with amazing views and a great terrace. Our apartment was not large, but it had a kitchen and the property management company we worked with, Italy Perfect was great. Highly recommend them.
See that red circle in the picture….that is our bedroom with 360 degree views. The Ponte Vecchio is in the center and the Uffizi Gallery is the tan building to the right. So we had views like this-
And of course we loved the terrace. We ate out there many evenings.
And we loved Florence.
The ceiling of the Baptistery across from the Duomo.
Just strolling around was fun….
And Piazelle Michelangelo was the perfect place to spend a sunset picnic-
We had views-
And Mexican beer. I swear we drank Italian beer the rest of the trip when we were drinking beer which was actually quite good. But after sweating all day and roasting your buns sitting on hot stone steps a Corona from the street vendor was perfect.
Since we were in Florence for a week, we took a couple of day trips. One of these was on a wine tour through the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. Our first plan was to rent a car and do this on our own. But after researching fun things like insurance we decided to join a tour instead. Best.decision.ever. We went on a tour with eight other people and given by the Tuscan Wine Society. Rebecca was an amazing tour guide (and she has a blog). We learned a whole lot about wine. We loved this tour and had a great time so make sure you check it out if you are going to be in Florence. We started at 9:30 and did tastings at three wineries. At the first winery we got a full tour which was very interesting.
And then of course the wine-
We had a delicious lunch prepared at the second winery before heading to the third for some more wine. Derek learned he is not a grappa fan at lunch. We also stopped in so cute Tuscan hill towns in between.
Sadly US customs only allows a liter of alcohol per person through customs so we could not bring that much back with us. But happily both bottles made it home in one piece and are waiting to be enjoyed for a special occasion.
On our last day in Florence we planned on taking a day trip to Siena. At to this point we had a relatively smooth trip. All flights were on time, had successfully navigated the city, found grocery stores and restaurants etc.
Then we got on the slow bus to Siena. Which I thought would not be that bad because it is a little more time on the bus…but oh well. Except the A/C an the bus was not working…..and the bus was very full of people…and it was 102 outside….and the windows did not open….for 2.5 hours. So when we finally got to Siena we were not in the best shape. And then as were we trying to find some water, I realized that I had forgotten the guide book on the bus. NOOOOO! So we had no map and not really an idea of the plan. Luckily we were leaving the next day for the Cinque Terre which was in a new guidebook safe in the apartment so it was not that bad. So we were without my security blanket but ultimately had great time in Siena.
Even though it was the hottest day all week. But we did get on the correct bus on the way home.
The town square where the famous horse race is held….sadly we missed it by a weekend.
The next day we got up early for our train to the Cinque Terre which was amazing….and in a new post. If you want to see more pics or videos, go to my flickr page here (or click “my photos” at the top). I did not include details about everything we did and did not do because most museums did not allow pictures and I did not want to bore people. (David was amazing though.) But if you interested shoot me an email. We are planners and that means spreadsheets. Ciao!