Thursday, June 26, 2014

April 8, 2014–Florence to Siena to Tuscany

Today’s travel blog was written by Lizzie. All of the original post is in italics. Any new commentary is in regular text.

Lizzie here! We had a lovely day today.
We started the day in Florence with a visit to the Ufizzi Gallery where we saw famous works like Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation, Rapheal’s Madonna of Goldfinch, Giotto’s Madonna, Botticelli’s Primavera and Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus.

All priceless pieces of art sitting on display for us to view and they were amazing. There was only a small line mix up when we arrived, but compared to the Domo Cupola fiasco it was easy. We sailed through the museum listening to Rick Steve’s tour on my iPod. It was only really crowded in the Rapheal room – thank goodness.

You are not allowed to take photos of the priceless works so I linked the above, but you could take photos out of the windows:


We exited the building and headed back to the hotel to get our car.

Magically the car arrived (after a quick call from our hotel) about 20 yards away. I honestly have no idea where the car had been housed and I don’t want to know. It came back in perfect condition and we made our escape from Florence with no wrong turns, no tickets (that we know of) and 100% less stressful than our arrival. I think Doug would even agree with that assessment.

We headed up hill and stopped at a lookout spot over Florence. It was quite lovely.


The area had all kinds of artwork and fun touristy people…2014-04-08-04-20-59_IMG_1202
Then I found a magical spot full of tulips and I might have taken 100 pictures there.






I loved the spot! When I got back to the car (as I had made Doug pull over for me to photograph the photogenic tulips), Doug requested Gelato from a stand her spotted while I was away. I went to get him 2 scoops and I picked the flavors!


I got him Rum Raisin and Caramel Crunch. I think I made good decisions.
Then we headed to Siena!

After some windy, narrow roads (thanks Siri), we ended up on the right road. We were on the Autostrada for a few minutes and then headed to a smaller road the rest of the way. I might have snapped a few photos along the way. Tuscany is BEAUTIFUL. It is very lush, green and looks just the way you imagine it.2014-04-08-08-49-12_IMG_12752014-04-08-08-49-18_IMG_1276

We arrived in Siena way too hungry. It was 2:30 and we had only had a light snack at 11 am. We have not been good about eating before we get too hangry. We found an open restaurant and I ordered the Antipasta and 3 Pastas! Talk about my eyes being bigger than my stomach. One of the pastas I ordered was Ravioli stuffed with pumpkin and leek. 2014-04-08-07-09-29_IMG_12662014-04-08-07-03-01_IMG_12622014-04-08-07-35-26_IMG_1270

The ravioli were HUGE. The serving was only two raviolis they were about 4 inches by 4 inches. Talk about delicious. We walked around Siena for a bit and found the duomo.

It was about 4:30 pm when we decided to head back to the car. On our way we ran into a man who was carrying a heavy bag and he asked Doug to help him carry it in Italian first. Then when he realized Doug did not know what he was saying he asked in perfect English. I knew he was from the states immediately. He was a very nice gentleman who had lived all over the US, but now resides in a little town outside of Siena. He told us his wife thinks Siena (with its 60,000 or so residents) is too big. He also told us he was in Siena to pick up some things for Passover and that if you try to explain what Passover is to an Italian, they don't know what you are talking about. He said there were something like 30,000 Jews in Italy (a country of about 60 million). We talked and walked with him until we both found our cars and his heavy load was securely placed in his van.

We headed to our apartment which is located between Pienza and San Quirico d’Orcia. The little 8 apartment complex is home to a wonderful family that runs the establishment and 9 cats. The views are unbeatable and it was recommended to us by friends of friends. It is so calm, beautiful and relaxing. I would strongly recommend staying here if you ever in the area.


Sadly, Doug had been sneezing all day and we thought it was just allergies until he started running a fever. Once we got to the apartment, I unpacked and Doug rested for a bit. He is now sleeping and I really hope he feels better when he wakes up. This is no time to be sick! Yes, I did take extra vitamins just in case.


I took a bunch of photos of our apartment and the hill we will be residing at for the next 4 nights. I am pretty excited to be staying in one spot for 4 whole nights! We are doing day trips for the next few days to different hill cities in the area. Hopefully, Doug wakes up feeling awesome and we are both healthy the rest of the trip.

Our apartment!2014-04-08-11-41-56_IMG_1310




Hanging out with some cats…one looked just like Buzz!


2014-04-08-18-45-07_IMG_1556  2014-04-08-18-45-11_IMG_1558

Tomorrow we are headed to Siena for a cooking class and we will also tour the city. Ciao!

Love and Hugs, Lizzie

Lizzie Fitbit: 11,298
Doug Fitbit: 8,430

1 comment:

  1. This location may be my fav you visited. And those tulips!!! Gorg.