Got to Florence mid morning with a breeze blowing, finally maybe the hot weather is leaving us, I hope!! Managed to book into the hotel early so we could head off to see some sights. A copy of Michealangelo's David is in a nice park with picturesque views of the city. Like most Italian cities you come across some amazing and bizarre monuments while wondering around the streets. Florence has a relaxed and casual feel about it, not the hustle & bustle like Rome. The Ponte Vecchio bridge is a real sight with everything that sparkles. With no surprise a girl could shop until she dropped! Wish I had the credit card to support it!! In the piazzas there are people playing music or performing, there is always something to see or entertain you late into the evening.
Sun 28 - decided to catch the train to Siena for the day. What a wonderful old place it is. We managed to climb the city tower, all 400 steps which gives a great view of the town and Tuscan country side. Wondering through the narrow streets you come into the Piazza of San Giovanni with the most amazing Cathedral. The front intricately carved from white marble, the most ornate I think we have seen in our travels so far. When walking around these towns it's difficult to imagine that people were at these same places thousands of years before us!
Mon 29 - we planned to climb the cathedral this morning and decided to get there early, so glad we did the queues start before sites open. Again we climbed 460 odd steps, but worth the huff and puff (I should be feeling fit with all the walking). Half way you get to walk around the dome and get a close look at the painted ceiling, then onwards and up to exit at the top with a vista of Florence. After spending an hour at the cathedral we didn't think we had a chance of getting into the museum with queues so we hit the shops:-) and walked around some of the back streets. With very sore feet we headed back to the hotel for siesta. In the evening we headed out walking again and come across a Salvador Dali & Rodin exhibition, showing original sketches of their work and no crowds! Rob was glad he got to see some art work in Florence and Dali is a favorite.
Tue 30th - on the train back to Arpino. We both agree the biggest annoyance of our holiday is the lack of public transport in & out of Arpino, and with the added hassle of reduced services in August because of holiday season.
In a couple of days we will have a house full with some relative from UK joining us, should be interesting!