Posts Tagged With: Uffizi

Tuscany & Umbria Fun

In 2015 we took a week-long trip through some interesting cities of Tuscany and Umbria. This is a hilly area of Italy and the cities are hill towns with narrow streets and lots of stairs. It is Italy and the friendliness of the people and quality of the food and wine comes through.

The video below is an introduction to my Italian city videos.

 

Our trip was several weeks long but the first week was in Tuscany/Umbria and the rest was at our home in southern Campania. We flew into the Rome airport, Fiumicino, and rented a car.  Our itinerary was:

  1. Perugia – Chocolates – See are YouTube Video below
  2. Assisi – Home of Saint Francis – See are YouTube Video below
  3. Cortona – Home of Under the Tuscan Sun – See are YouTube Video below
  4. Montepulciano – The famous wine city – See are YouTube Video below
  5. Siena – Home of the famous Horse Race Il Palio – YouTube video coming soon
  6. San Gimignano – My favorite city anywhere – YouTube video coming soon
  7. Florence – Home of Italian art – See are YouTube Video below

There are so many more cities in this area worth seeing but we were limited to a week and wanted to spend time in Florence.

Perugia

This is home to the famous Italian chocolate Perugina. It is owned by Nestle now but in Italy it is made the original way with not as much sugar. The American version is sold with much more sugar. This small town has an old city center with very narrow streets that barely fit a car. See the video below for how narrow these streets actually are. As in most Italian towns, life takes place outside. Piazzas are places to sit at a bar or restaurant outside and enjoy and observe life around you.

Assisi

Assisi is a small hill town in Umbria that was home to Saint Francis and the Franciscan Monks. It is above all else an Italian city. The food and wine are great. Eating is done outside in piazzas and narrow streets. In our video we caught an Italian wedding as we were seated outside at a restaurant. You never know what will happen next but it will be fun and interesting.

Cortona

OK, we all know Cortona from the book and movie, Under the Tuscan Sun. Frances Mayes made this small town popular to tourists from all over the world. The city is high on a hill in Tuscany overlooking Lake Trasimeno. Frances Mayes has her real home here as well as Bramasole, the home used in the movie. Walk with us through this wonderful city in our YouTube video.

Montepulciano

Montepulciano is a famous Italian red wine city (by the same name). Here you can walk a wonderful hill-top city and drink this and other great Tuscan wines. We stayed at a great hotel outside the city called Borgo San Pietro Hotel Cortona. You can see this city and the hotel in the YouTube video.

Siena

This video will be available on YouTube on Monday January 30th. This is a larger city with a great old center that has a huge piazza that is used twice a year (on July 2 and August 16)  run a famous Italian horse race, il palio. People crowd into the center of the piazza and horses race around them. Mud flies and everyone has a fun time. Outside race times the piazza is a place to meet friends and family and sit and relax in the sun. The border of this piazza is loaded with bars and restaurants. The food is good but they are very touristy which means high prices.

San Gimignano

This video will be available on YouTube on a Monday two weeks after the above Siena video. San Gimignano is by far my favorite city anywhere. It is a walled hill city with two main gates. It has been preserved in time from its medieval beginnings. You will notice The famous town homes that help protect families from invaders. In medieval times there were 72 of these homes measuring as tall as 70 meters (230 feet). Today there are only 14 surviving towers. Tourists have found this city and with tourists came tourists stores like Gucci but it is a great town to walk. Get off the main two streets and see the real town.

Florence

Florence was the center of the renaissance and brought art, style, architecture and culture to medieval Italy. Books have been written about Florence. It is a very large city and one of Italy’s main cities. You come here for food, wine, views and art. In our YouTube video we walk around Florence and show you great museums like the Uffizi. Florence has something for everyone. Spend some time here and get to know the city and the people.

Enjoy your travels and enjoy your life…

– George

Categories: Architecture, Assisi, Bars, Cortona, Duomo, Eating, Eating Italian, Enoteca, Europe, Florence, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Hotels, Il Palio, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Lakes of Italy, Montepulciano, Mountain Towns, Perugia, Perugina Chocolate, Ristorante, Romance, Saint Francis, Saint Peter's Basilica, San Gimignano, Siena, Towns, Traveling without a tour, Tuscany, Uffizi, Umbria, Under the Tuscan Sun, VLOG, Walking, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Florence Continued …

Florence is a beautiful city but can be crowded. We went early in the season but there was still crowds at David and the Uffizi. You can buy a Florence pass but it is very expensive. It is worthwhile only if you will hit most places you can use it in the time frame designated. A better choice is to buy a reservation for 4 Euros. This gives you a half hour time slot that you get in a special line and basically walk in. David and the Uffizi had hour long lines but we went in with our reservations in a few minutes.

David is at the Accademia Gallery Museum in Florence. There are many things to see here besides David but David is magnificent. His skin looks like flesh not marble. In his left hand is a slingshot and a stone in his right. He is ready for Goliath. There is a small tree stump behind his right leg. This helps support the large statues weight. It keeps it from toppling over.

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David

He was originally in the piazza near the Uffizi but the weather would have destroyed him. They moved him into the museum and made a replica for the piazza.

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Replica

There are unfinished statues in the museum as well. Michelangelo felt they were done! They were breaking out of the stone and he could do no more to improve them.

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Unfinished Statue

Next stop was the Uffizi Museum near the Ponte Vecchio. This was the offices of the Medici and the government of Florence at the time. The museum is very large on both sides of a street. There are many great works of art here like:

  1. Primavera
  2. Venus of Urbino
  3. Adoration of the Magi (several)

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The church of Santa Croce is another large and beautiful church. It can also have lines but there is a peaceful feeling inside.

Crossing the Ponte Vecchio and turning right leads to an old area that was the artist area. There are still some along the main streets but high prices have moved most of them out of Florence.

The best views of Ponte Vecchio are from one of the bridges next to it. You can view the bridge in its entirety and get great photos. Florence has many different types of restaurants that serve meat, fish, pasta and pizza. The wine is good as well. The main wine regions of Italy are nearby and you can find Italy’s finest wines:

  1. Brunello
  2. Montepulciano
  3. Chianti

Enjoy your stay in Florence. Spend at least 3 nights (two full days). Buy reservations and enjoy what this great city has to offer.

Tomorrow we drive south on the Autostrada to our home in Velina (Campania).

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: City Passes, Euro, Europe, Florence, General Travel, Italy, Museums, Pizza, Romance, Tuscany, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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