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Florence – Day 2
Florence By Way of Pisa
  • Writer's picturesbcrosby .

A Tour of Tuscany

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

What’s the old saying – never say never? The first real snafu of our trip hit today when we showed up for our lovely tour of Tuscany and realized that our travel agent booked the wrong tour. Guess where we were destined to start our day in Tuscany…wait for it…PISA! Are you kidding me?!?! We seriously considered walking away at that very moment, but decided to gut it out. We also thought God might be sending us a message since we didn’t bother to see the inside of the cathedral yesterday! 🙂

After only an hour in Pisa and quite a beautiful tour of said cathedral, we were finally on our way to the picture-perfect Tuscan countryside. The weather couldn't have been better - high 70s and brilliant blue sky.

We started with a wonderful visit for lunch at a local working winery and farm just outside San Gimignano. We had a wine tasting – one white, two Chiantis and one dessert wine – known as the holy wine because it is fortified and served for Communion at the local churches. That holy wine was about as strong as I’ve ever tasted – it’s no wonder those priests are so darn happy! We also had the best salami and pecorino cheese we’ve had yet, along with bruschetta with extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil made right on the farm. Two bottles made their way in our backpack!

We then continued on the party bus to San Gimignano - one of the medieval towns with its full wall and 14 of the original 72 towers still in tact. What a charming little town with incredible views all around it. Yes, it's a little touristy with all of its shops, but it is well worth visiting. We continued our gelato-a-day promise and indulged as we walked these ancient cobblestone streets.

Next stop - Siena. Interesting note about Siena - they claim to have the world's oldest, continually operating bank. The city is also known for its annual Palio di Siena, when 10 of its 17 contrade, or neighborhoods, compete in a horse race around the central square.

After a great walking tour of the major sites with a local guide, including its unbelievably ornate Duomo, we had some free time to spare. This is a city we could see returning to someday. In fact, if we had it to do over, we would’ve spent more time in these Tuscan towns.

Once back in Florence, we were debating our options for dinner. To be completely honest, we needed a break from meat/cheese and pasta! As we walked past the Hard Rock Cafe - Florence, we turned to each other and immediately said, "Caesar salad!" I don't know if our bodies were just craving greens so badly, or if we were famished from all that walking, but it was the best Caesar salad we've had in a very long time.

Our itinerary for tomorrow includes the Accademia, Pitti Palace, and the Duomo. Oh, and a stroll by the leather stalls! Until then, Ciao from Florence!


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