Thursday, April 2, 2015

Travel: Firenze, Italy (Florence to You)

Even after traveling all these years it still surprises me when I arrive in a city and find out that we Americans (and maybe the rest of the world) have given the city a name that locals do not use. We are in Florence Italy for a week. So it puzzled me when we first arrived here last Sunday that every business had the name Firenze over the door. What did that mean? Then it dawned on me that all this time I had been calling this beautiful city by the wrong name.

We are staying in an apartment just across the street from the central market here so we can wander over and buy vegetables or cheese on a whim. The apartment is very old but sparkling clean. Shutters can be closed to keep out the light and windows swing open wide to let the afternoon breeze blow through. No TV, just we 7 family members laughing and talking together. It is wonderful.

We walk everywhere in the city and today we went two blocks to the train station and rode through the countryside to Pisa to spend a few hours. The tickets cost less than $100 Euros for 7 people. I am learning that traveling around Europe could be easy if a person wanted to venture out. Safety is an issue with the airlines but passports are not. It seems very strange to us.

Read the tour books if you are interested in the museums or tours. I am not going to try to describe the experience of standing before Michelangelo's tomb or seeing the place where Galileo was laid to rest. Nor am I going to try to empress you with the beautiful image of Michelangelo's David statue or even pictures of the beautiful 4th largest cathedral in the world. So many words have been written about all of that, it is not necessary. Sometimes it is the quirky that catches my eye. Here are a few of my favorites so far:

Red tile roofs are normal, getting this close to one is not! Walkway to Dante's
Some graffiti is just too good not to photograph...train to Pisa.
Love under the Tuscan son and his wife!
Plaza in front of the leaning tower.
Letting a trains linger for too long is just an open invitation to the graffiti artist...very beautiful. 
It is required that anyone that visits Pisa must have their
picture taken hold the tower up. My oldest grandson and his little sister.
I want to tell you about traveling with a cane finding gluten free food but that will have to wait for another day. Stay tuned!


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