We woke up at 6:45, and were out on the streets at 07:07. The heat is gone. What a relief from afternoon heat. It is nice and breezy on the streets at this hour. We wanted to see all major Firenze sites one more times before the crowds. We saw 3 young (most likely German) tourists next to the wall of the Duomo. They were just waking up and gathering their colorful sleeping gear. They travel on a very low budget, and no one bothered them sleeping in front of the Duomo.
Quickly we reached Piazza della Signoria and realized that arches here (Loggia dei Lanzi) remind us arches on Odeonsplatz in Munich, where new SS recruits took the oath.
|First time we wake up very early, and walked the streets before the tourists and before the summer heat||Piazza della Signiria – Fountain of Neptune|
We ate breakfast and checked out 15 minutes before the deadline at 10:45. We left our bags at the front desk and had only umbrellas in our hands to fight the sun. Lira’s vegetarian place Libreria Brac (Via dei Vagellai, 18) near Ponte alle Grazie was closed again (despite notes on the door). Instead, Lira got a double decaffeinated coffee (Moyo Bar – Via dei Benci, 23 – €2 – 12:02) and headed toward last point on our agenda in Firenze – Basilica di Santa Croce.
|We picket our hotel on via Taddea, where we unexpectedly found this plaque. What a coincidence – tiny Collodi is our next destination||Another discovery on Piazza dell’Olio during out morning stroll. Mozart stayed here in Spring of 1770.|
This church stores in its walls and floors at least 4 important and over a thousand of less important remains. The entrance costs €6×2 plus €0.50 for kimono to cover up open shoulders. We saved the kimono to use in other churches, but never got a chance to use it again.
|Many rich and famous paid top price to be buried next to Galileo and Dante, but they were later “transported” into an adjacent structure on a ground level.||Tomba di Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli|
Basilica of Santa Croce is vast. Here we spent over 2 hours making pictures of tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Rossini, and empty crypt of the Dante. Back in XIX century this Franciscan church open up its floor for burial, and over 1000 rich and famous paid the price to be near the Giants. But eventually most “not so famous and important” were moved in neat stacks outside in the floor of a lower (side) gallery. It is still a very prestigious place, but it is completely filled with remains. There are no more spaces between the tombs, and you have to walk on them to see them.
We reached the car around 15:40 and thanks to masterful directions from the front desk (of our hotel Collodi) we arrived with no violations of TLZ (Zona Traffico Limitato) to load our bags. A quick drive on the Firenze-Lucca highway, and we reached Collodi and Pinocchio amusement park (€11) around 17:15.
|Basilica di Santa Croce – Michelangelo is resting here||Top: view on Arno river from Piazzale Michelangelo
Bottom: Latin inscription on Michelangelo tomb
Here we got a couple of business cards for hotels from the vendors, and reach one on the hills. They were booked (only 4 rooms), but the owner not only told us, what to do, but made a call to a nearby place, that had a spare room and a pool. Amazingly, with precise directions drawn on the map, we were in a new place around 18:30, and in the pool probably around 18:45.
We were on Villa Vezzani (Via Collecchio 14, Pescia, 51017). That was our first Agriturismo experience. That was a 3-story building in the middle of olive gardens, without A/C, but with some super high ceilings, old style keys, ancient furniture and complete cleanliness. Without negotiations the price was preset at €70 credit cards are OK.
|Collodi – Via Benvenuto Pasquinelli – near entrance to Parco di Pinocchio||Pizzeria dal Pucci in Pescia – found parking, found the best restaurant and they had outside sitting. We are getting good at traveling!|
On Mondays the restaurant here at the villa are closed, and we drove out for dinner, but we missed the next-door place (and I can’t even find it on the map now). Instead, we drove down to the center of Pescia. Here we found parking (19:44) and we found a place to eat (Ristorante Pizzeria Pucci – Via Amendola 4, 51010 Pescia). We had an excellent meal, and insects tried to have their meal out of Lira. The owner noticed discomfort, and gave Lira a spray repellent for protection – amazing. I ordered a Calzone Bomba (€7) and Lira had salad and grilled vegetables -cartoccio di verdura (€25.50 AmEx 20:59).
And once again, if only day had more hours to enjoy and contemplate. But body and mind had to sleep, sleep, and sleep.
Navigate through the List
- Italy 2012 August - Roma, Firenze, Napoli and between (2019/01/16)
- Aug 10-11 FRI-SAT - A two-day flight to Rome (2019/01/20)
- Aug 12 SUN - First steps in Rome - Pantheon (2019/01/24)
- Aug 13 MON - Vatican (2019/01/28)
- Aug 14 TUE - Colosseum (2019/02/01)
- Aug 15 WED - Getting the car - Starting North - Viterbo (2019/02/05)
- Aug 16 THU - Bagnoregio in Lazio, Orvieto in Umbria (2019/02/09)
- Aug 17 FRI - Orvieto - Montepulciano - Siena (2019/02/13)
- Aug 18 SAT - Siena - Villa Galileo - Firenze - Day 1 (2019/02/17)
- Aug 19 SUN - Firenze - Day 2 - Uffizi Gallery (2019/02/21)
- Aug 20 MON - Firenze (Day 3) - Collodi (2019/02/25)
- Aug 21 TUE - From Pescia to Lucca (2019/03/01)
- Aug 22 WED - Lucca (Toscana) - La Spezia (Liguria) (2019/03/05)
- Aug 23 THU - Cinque Terra [... in progress ...] (2019/03/09)
- Aug 24 FRI - Torre del Lago Puccini - Pisa and Agriturismo (2019/03/13)
- Aug 25 SAT - Agriturismo in Pitigliano [... in progress ...] (2019/03/17)
- Aug 26 SUN - Road to Napoli [... in progress ...] (2019/03/21)
- Aug 27 MON - Napoli - Day 2 [... in progress ...] (2019/03/25)
- Aug 28 TUE - From focused Napoli to heavenly Sorrento (2019/03/29)
- Aug 29 WED - Capri - Day 1 [... in progress ...] (2019/04/02)
- Aug 30 THU - Capri - Day 2 [... in progress ...] (2019/04/06)
- Aug 31 FRI - La Dolce Far Niente [... in progress ...] (2019/04/14)
- Sep 1 SAT - Mount Vesuvius [... in progress ...] (2019/04/18)
- Sep 2 SUN - Last day in Rome [... in progress ...] (2019/04/22)
- Sep 3 MON - From Rome back to Boston (2019/04/26)
- Italy 2012 - Final Summary - Rules to Adopt and Follow <br> (2019/04/30)