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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Florence, Toscana, Italy

May 31, 2014 - Wine tasting in Chianti

The lovely Hotel Burchianti was booked out for Saturday 31st May, so I had booked a private room at the hostel where the Busabout bus dropped us off and was due to pick us up again on the Sunday. I had a light breakfast, checked-out and walked the 10 minutes to the hostel. I was too early to check-in, but was able to store my luggage for the day. Keen to do some wine tasting in Tuscany, I had booked a half-day tour for the afternoon and went to make sure I could find the meeting point. I was chatting with Mum, walking down the street and by...

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May 30, 2014 - A spot of shopping, Pizzale Michelangelo & Ponte Vecchio

A good sleep in, a lovely long shower and I was ready to see what Florence was all about. The lovely hotel manager saw me leave my room and told me that I'd missed breakfast (finished at 10am), but he could make me a cappuccino. I thanked him, but said I was fine and was going to explore the city. Out of the building, around the corner and I was already in the thick of it. Restaurants, cafes, and shops galore! Leather, sweets, jewellery, you name it. I didn't really have a plan, but I had a map from the hotel manager and just started...

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May 29, 2014 - Florence via sweet Orvieto

On the move again, this time from Rome to Florence. Dee, a lovely young Polish girl, was the guide for this leg of the tour. Only six days into the job, she was a little nervous and counted us 3 times every time we stopped, just to be on the safe side. There are no toilets onboard the Busabout buses, but they stop regularly to give everyone a loo break, as well as a chance to grab some food. Our first stop of the day was in Orvieto, an ancient city about 1.5 hours from Rome, right on top of a hill (on the flat summit of the butte of...

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May 22, 2014 - Ciao Italy!

Our last day we climbed the 420+ winding tunnel staircase to the top of the duomo in Florence. The view was spectacular although the climb was quite a feat. Enjoyed the little cafe across the street one more time and the Uruguay waiter that had been so nice to us when we arrived. Finished the trip across the river - beautiful at night and up at 3:30 AM for the flight back to the US! Ciao, Italy!

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Europe2014

May 19, 2014 - Another day trip from Tuscany to Lucca

Today we ventured out on our own to Lucca, Italy. We took the Italian train from Florence to this old walled city founded by the Etruscans and colonized by the Romans in the second century BC. The old town is surrounded by walls and moat to protect the inhabitants. There is also a river of water inside. We visited the Basicalla San Fredando that houses the mummified body of St. Zita, polular St. of Lucca, and Lucca dates back to 795 AD ....absolutely amazing getaway from Florence.

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Europe2014

May 18, 2014 - Lazy Sunday in Florence

Today was a rest day in Florence, so we slept in only to be awakened by a parade of Italian drummers all in traditional costume walking past the apt. to the square! After a late night at the dance club, John and Kim took a walk to the market this afternoon and John and I went to see the leather artisans at the school here. John bought groceries and wine to cook in and went across the street later to the sports bar to watch the Florence vs. Torino soccer match. Lot's of people around on a Sunday afternoon and lot's wearing their favorite...

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Europe2014

May 18, 2014 - Folorence to Tuscany!

We took a Walkabout Tour to Tuscany. Went to Siena which is famous for it's contrades (17 districts of the city .... all named after different animals) and the horse race that they have every year, where each contrade is represented. Today there was a race of a different sort .... ferrari's driving along the horse race path all through the square - the million mile race. So it was quite loud and busy. We saw the most amazing Duomo's (Gothic Catherdral) that I have seen in Europe. Then we went to an organic farm and winery for a tour, wine...

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Europe2014

May 18, 2014 - Firenze

I am behind in my joural and my photos. It is beautiful in Florence...sunny and in the 70's during the day. We spent most of the day walking around and looking and at the markets today....looking at jewelry, scarves, leather jackets & bags. There are two main markets....one just by our apt. and one closer to Central Novella train and bus station and square.

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Europe2014

May 15, 2014 - Arrived Florence!

Arrived Florence! Weather sunny and in the 70's! Met MaryAnne and her dog (she is a pet sitter/dog walker!) at the cafe just oustide the apt. We have a nice large apt. here in Florence with tile floors and large fluffy towels. Also talked with the waiter at the cafe who is a friend of MaryAnnes. He is from Uruguay. Walked up the 102 steps (with bags!) to the 5th floor apt. overlooking the Villa Pellicceria, a few blocks from the Duomo. Walked across the river (gelatto on the way) to the rose garden, high above Florence, with a wonderful...

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Europe2014

Apr 26, 2014 - Fabulous Florence!

After an hour bus ride through rolling Tuscany hills, there we were, bonjourno Firenze! Florence is known for its leather goods and gold. So no surprises that our drop-off point was a leather shop and jeweller opposite the Santa Croce church. Misuri, the leather shop, is a well-established outfit that does a pretty good demo. By a guy that the kids thought looked remarkably like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. Read: he managed to retain their attention during his spiel. And yes, the Grays got sucked in and are the proud owners of some...

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Apr 18, 2014 - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun I arrived at the Rome airport, found my very cheap, very sketchy airport hotel and settled in for the night, kept awake by an Italian man standing outside his room next door, arguing loudly with someone on the phone for at least an hour. I have no idea what it was about, but I’m pretty sure the Italian word for bitch is either bestia or puttana, because these were used repeatedly, with emphasis. I picked up Helen and Becca, thrilled to see my girlfriends from home, and we started north toward Montepulciano, known...

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Apr 17, 2014 - I see you

Once upon a time during a real job in Fort Mac, I met a man named Jackson* not his real name ;) and there started to be some attraction growing and I was starting to really like what I saw in his eyes when he looked at me. He is smart and kind and willing to go out of his way for others. The only down sides were that he was a bit judgemental and would not hold the door of the car open for me. (Gary and Kevin spoil me) But all of this does not matter for something I said killed any feelings that he looked at me with. What did I say you...

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