Today was our free day. We had the option of milling around Cortona or hanging out at the villa and just having a relax.
Screw that! We are only here for a short time let’s make the most of it. Two others from our group decided they wanted to visit Florence which is only 1 1/2 hr drive from The villa. We decided the opportunity was too good to pass up, so mum and I tagged along.
We had no idea what to expect in Florence as we did not expect to be visiting. We arrived in the middle of the city and started to have a look around. We decided Florence was not as stunning as Rome.
We started with a wander through the markets which was full of leather and very pushy venders. We bought a cheap handbag and got out of there quick.
We continued to wander then found the gorgeous Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the main church in Florence. It was truly stunning. A common theme through Italy seems to be the attention to detail in their lavish, beautiful churches. An amazing building really worth visiting.
Our next stop was a gorgeous restaurant in the Piazza del Republica. Gilli was a great place for lunch the food was lovely and the staff were amazing. Friendly, accommodating and all spoke english which was helpful.
After lunch we headed towards the Ponte Vecchio Bridge. It was lined with jewellery shops and tourists, bloody tourists. We wandered up the street to get a better view of the bridge from a distance. I understand the fact that we were in an amazing place with immense history, but it was a bridge.
We then wandered back to the train station to head back to Tuscany. We enjoyed our day in Florence, and were really glad we visited but it was not a patch on Rome.
Dinner that night was in an unassuming roadside restaurant that was a favourite with the locals near Cortona. The decor was very Italian with checkered red tablecloths. Pane e Vino is known for its seafood. Mum and I don’t eat shellfish and were given some amazing alternatives, An antipasto plate enough for 4 was our appetizer. Then we were given a gorgeous ragu pasta then bought a very rare t-bone steak to share. A bit too rare for us but we did our best. The chef teased us and told us we were definitely tourists if we could not handle the blue steak. A fun evening. The others at the table had some delicious looking seafood. I pinched some salmon and calamari which was fresh and tasty. The night ended with a rockmelon sorbet which was light and refreshing.
Bed was looking awesome tonight.