Pic - viewing Florence from Michelangelo SquareInto the mountains!
Hi - it's May 14 now so let me backtrack a bit and go over the few days since my last update. Florence was a pretty amazing place - I'm not really into city's as I have told you but this had it all and was able to be done in a day.
The river running through it is the Arno and has two last weirs on it which you can get up close to and take some great pictures. Walking along the banks was nice too with interesting bridges including one with buildings on it - this reminded me of the original London Bridge (before my time obviously) .. Next to Michelangelo Square (Pizzale) which is on a high level over looking the city - from here you get some amazing views of the whole of Florence.
The main attraction in town is Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore - which is a quite beautifully designed structure. I found it very striking from the outside and huge too - massive in fact. You can go up the tower and dome but you must pre-book tickets - I didn't, however, the view from Michelangelo Square was enough for my photos. Tip for Florence stay outside city and get the bus in - it costs 1.50E each way and you have to buy your ticket before boarding - no hassle.
Pic - sunrise over Tuscany, just outside Florence.
Castelnuovo di Garfagnana was a very easy walk about - took a couple of hours here and it is well worth a walk. A lovely place in the hills surrounded by a river making the centre of town a little like an island - old structures and pretty bridges worthy of a few snaps. After this I made the drive over to the coast to visit Cinque Terre. This is a park on the west coast, the meaning in Italian is Five Lands - so there are five towns each carved into the cliffs that face the sea. Each town has brightly colours buildings all perched on each other and quite frankly look stunning. I drove to Manarola which is not an easy drive and then parked the car to walk the remainder - well worth it!
Pic - Cinque Terre (Manarola)
So yesterday was a lot of driving this is why I'm having a lay in (of sorts) before breakfast at 8am today. I'm only here for one night as I'm still working my way up Italy's 'thigh' towards Turin. Today I'm driving through the mountains to a place called Bobbio where I'll stay tonight. Not long now before this journey ends so hopefully my next update will be from Turin in a few days..x
- Bridge name = Ponte della Maddalena
- Cinque Terre, you can get a train from La Spezia (I recommend rather than driving)
- B&B near Florence = Silvani 123 (recommended)
- I've stopped using the motorways as there is more to see on rural roads + no toll
More images from the trip..