Saturday, December 15, 2007

Daytrip to Florence (4 of 10)

Up at first light with the pigeons, we watched the mist encircle the towers outside our windows. We decided to drive up to Florence for the day. It was an easy and uncomplicated drive! On an earlier trip we were talked into driving to the railway station at Poggibonsi, finding a pay parking garage, then taking a train up to Florence.

View from the breakfast room, La Cisterna

This time we sauntered down to the Poggibonsi roundabout in the hire car, took the turn for the Si-Fi (Siena Florence) highway, and arrived at the outskirts of Florence just thirty-two kilometers later. Very soon we were on the Via Senese which the Si-Fi road just turned into – we didn’t even have to look for it. Next came large, clear signs for Piazzale Michelangelo.

There is free parking up at Piazzale Michelangelo. I have used it countess times over the years and it is impossible to miss. The road from Poggibonsi goes directly to it. It is very clearly signposted. The views from up there are spectacular, as is the large green David in the center.

On our way down to Florence, we crossed the road and bought bus tickets for two euros each from the bus driver and got off the bus near Santa Croce.

We had a terrific day, wandering the town. We visited the large, central leather market next to San Lorenzo, went into our ceramic shop, Ceramiche Luca Della Robbia, on Via Proconsolo 19r, and then looked at Villeroy and Boch items from a store called Bartolini, on Via dei Servi 24-28, near the Duomo.

We had morning tea at Bar Scudieri in front of the Duomo. It was as good as always, but very, very busy. Lunch was at Lo Scudo, where I love to go to eat. It’s a quiet, unpretentious little restaurant on Via dell'Oriuolo, 53/55r.

Later in the day we returned to Piazzale Michelangelo by ‘princess travel’ – I mean, by taxi, which only cost 6.90 euros from the Duomo all the way back up to Piazzale Michelangelo. The views were even better in the soft afternoon light and I sighed over far distant Fiesole, taking photographs and videos. The drive back, via Poggibonsi and the Pam Supermarket was quick and the countryside was very pretty. Dinner that night was at La Griglia before another spectacular evening of tower gazing.

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