Friday, September 09, 2011

Tuscany & Florence Part 2

We've been gone about 10 days and have really seen a lot.  I'm a bit behind with my blog so I'm trying to catch up before we go to France.

Sat Sept 2nd we did a lot of sightseeing in Florence.  We started out a the San Lorenzo market.  Mary & Virg got to spend some time looking at all the leather vendors.  They were looking for wallets and sandals. 

We also found the Medici burial chapel (Opera Medicea Laurenziana).  Wow, there was some amazing marble work inside, though photos weren't allowed.  Then we continued through the San Lorenzo Market and had lunch inside the food market.  What a great lunch, we all ordered a different item and shared.  It was great fun.
Then we went back to the apartment and picked up mom.  She was having a quiet morning at home.  We went over to the Pitti Palace, about 2 blocks from our apartment.  What a huge building.  Unfortunately most of the really old things were gone.  Bonaparte had the whole place remodeled when he conquered Florence.  But there was a lot to see and I really enjoyed the State Apartments.  We also did some walking in the garden but only saw a very small portion of it.
Sunday we got up early and took a couple of taxis to the train station.  We caught a small regional train from Florence to Faenza, instead of the fast train through Bologna.  We went up over the mountains, through some pretty wild area full of chestnut trees.  Down the other side it was all fruit orchards & and very flat.  We had a sandwich lunch in Faenza, waiting for the train to Ravenna.  I was really surprised that there was NO luggage storage.  We had 2 hours and I'd planned to check in our luggage and walk a few blocks into town to look around.  That was a bit of a bummer.

Anyway, we got into Ravenna about 2:30 pm.  It really wasn't too far to our hotel but we took a couple of taxis because we have a lot of luggage :-).  Shari & Val were waiting for us in a little cafe about 1/2 block from the hotel.  So we sat with them for a while and then did some exploring.  Linda & Lowry arrived a few hours later.  They had some trouble finding their hotel, but managed to meet up with us for dinner about 7:30 pm.  That was great fun, and the food was wonderful.  What a great first night in Ravenna. 

Water fountain at Pitti Palace
Our hotel was the Hotel Central Bryon.  Cute old place, but it was clean, had an elevator AND air conditioning.  It was HOT in Ravenna and had been HOT in Florence.  Upper 90's is too much for me these days.  So having A/C in Ravenna was great.  Plus their breakfast (included) was very good.  Quite a nice selection of breads,  rolls, sandwich meat, yogurt, cereal and of course, cappuccino.

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