Tuscany is a region in central Italy. It is composed of nine provinces, the more famous of which are Florence, Pisa, Siena and Lucca. The Tuscany that I know from postcards has fields of grass and brick houses with flowery vines crawling on the sides. I do not remember seeing fields of grass there but I did see brick houses as imagined and winding cobblestone streets.
Tuscany is, in a word, lovely. Art buffs will have a grand time in Florence - considered the birthplace of the Renaissance - with its many museums and art galleries. Pisa is famous for the leaning tower but is really a place that is worth the visit independent of that landmark. And then there's Siena that sits on top of a hill and has the most welcoming houses and intimate narrow side streets. People there are happier than the Italians in Rome, and the atmosphere is generally more laid back. We're spending an entire week next time in Siena. That's a fact.
I can't possibly cover all three regions in one post. Let's begin with Florence - the capital city of the province of Florence and of the region of Tuscany.
|It took us 3 hrs. to get from Rome to Florence by (Puy's) car. The train will take you to Florence in half that time.|
As in most cities in Europe, the key is to just grab a map and explore by foot.
Florence is home to many art schools and museums, among which are the Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell'Accademia. The Galleria dell'Accademia (shown here) houses the original David by Michelangelo. If you're wondering, I'm doing that because I'm pointing to the entrance fee: 11 Euros (PhP550) to see David. There you go.
|This bag and wallet that I got in the vicinity of Piazza del Duomo are the best purchases that I made from this trip. I like the bag so much, I'm going to dedicate a separate post for it.|
|Florence's duomo - The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore|
|The Cathedral's dome is a masterpiece by Giorgio Vasari.|
|I found it interesting that the figures looked three-dimensional.|
I honestly liked the dome of the Florence Cathedral better than the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
This is at Piazza della Signora where the Palazzo Vecchio - the seat of government - is located.
Many noteworthy sculptures are in Piazza della Signora, including this replica of Michelangelo's David.
As mentioned, the original David is in the Accademia Gallery. This one, you get to see for free. Yes.
|The sculpture at our back is the Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna.|
|Gucci opened a museum in Florence in 2011 in celebration of the brand's 90th anniversary. The museum is located on or about the Piazza della Signora. See building to our back.|
|There are nostalgic bridges crossing the Arno river.|
|View from an extension of the Palace. |
At the back of the Pitti Palace, but still within its grounds, is the Boboli Gardens .
|We had neither the time nor the energy to walk through the entire gardens. |
We couldn't see where it ended. Huuuge.
|All that walking made me thirsty so here I am getting water out of the tap! Can you believe this? Drinking off the tap is just unthinkable in my beloved third world country.|
|We took a photo of this wild pig sculpture because other tourists were rubbing its nose and throwing coins into the fountain. We eventually saw a similar sculpture in the Louvre and figured, "That pig in Florence must be important." It turns out, he is. See. What did I tell you about following the tourists?|
Kain break at the Piazza della Republica. I thank Florence for letting me know what a proper panini should taste like. It should taste like this.
|We ended the day with a trip to Piazzale Michaelangelo - basically a parking lot that sits on top of Florence and has another copy of David's Michaelangelo.|
|The view from the Piazzale is just breathtaking.|
|We had pizza at this restaurant while waiting for the sunset.|
|The other tourists sat on the steps.|
|No caption required. Heehee|