Tuscany

Florence Travel Blog

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The train ride from Rome to Florence is fairly quick and the trains are nice in Italy, but the best part of the train ride is the view of Tuscan countryside.  Villas perched on top of rolling hills wich overlook vineyards are the norm in this part of Italy.  It was a completly different from Rome or Venice.  This is how I always imagined Italy to be and I wasn't disappointed. 

We stayed in Florence for 5 nights and we could have stayed longer in the Tuscan area.  The next time we come here the plan is to rent a villa for 2 weeks and stay outside of Siena, but I will get to Siena later.
  We also had the best food to date of the trip here in Florence.  We had two amazing dinners that I must mention not only because I am food obsessed, but because they were memorable.  The first restaurant was Trattoria Sostanza.  Here you are seated a large tables with other diners "family" style.  The couple we sat with are from El Paseo, Texas and this was the first time we had dinner with any Americans on the trip.  Delightful, and the food was pretty amazing too.  We had the best minestrone soup, steak floretine and dessert.  I am still dreaming of the dessert.  The last night we were in Florence we went to another Trattoria.  The food here was the best meal of the trip.  We were very lucky that they seated us without a reservation and judging from the amount of people they turned away due to a lack of reservation was very telling.
  The soup, grilled meat and dessert were simply prepared, but the taste was amazing.  My only regret is we only went there once. 

We decided to take a day trip to Siena while in Florence and we are so glad we did.  The Duomo in Siena is the most beautiful we had seen on the trip.  The town is surronded by the old Roman walls and it is so well preserved you can feel as if time as stood still here.  Siena is a beautiful town surronded by the Tuscan landscape.  What more can I say?  I can't wait to come back.

We never made it to all the touristy places in Florence due to the holdiay weekend (All Saint's Day).  They were so many tourists in town it made it very difficult to get a reservation to get in to the Uffizi or the Academie, but we just have an excuse to come back again.  Who knew that October/early November was such a big travel time in Tuscany?  One of the shop keepers I was chatting with told us to come back in Spring the weather is better and they are less tourist, regardless of the crowds, Florence was memorable.

After Florence we decided to stay a couple of nights in Milan. So we booked a reservation and took the train to Milan.  We were a little weary of going to Milan since Rome was not our favorite stop.  Milan is the second biggest city in Italy after Rome, but Milan is a very different.  Yes, it is a big city, but the pace is better more like San Francisco.  Also, the city is a shopper's heaven, if you have a American Express Black card, regardless it was great to window shop.  From Milan we wanted to go to the South of France for a couple of days, but we could not get a seat reservation on the train due to the holiday weekend nor could we get a reservation to Paris.  We are tired and decided we would go to Paris for a whole week and by pass the south of France and safe it for another trip, but we can't train so we we have to fly from Milan.  So, next up the city of lights.
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Florence
photo by: monky