Places to Go

Firenze… La Prima Volta

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We headed south again ino Tuscany, fulfilling a longtime dream of seeing Firenze in the evening light… We crossed the Arno twice on the way to our hotel – I will never forget that first view of the ponte vecchio!

We are staying at a tiny hotel in the oltrarno – hotel liberty – south of the main part of the city but easily walkable. Our room on the third floor (in what was probably the original attic) has a sloped roof with wooden beams – the ceiling is 5 feet high on one side and 12 feet high on the other! It is gorgeous.

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(One corner of our room…)

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(…the hallway just outside…)

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(the window from our room and the courtyard/skylight…)

After a quick change we walked into town, completely charmed by every inch of Firenze along the way…

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(this is really the street we stayed on – Viale Michelangelo…)

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(…flowers in the hotel garden…)

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We crossed the Arno at the bottom of our street and made a left on the ironically named:

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…until we discovered the piazza of Santa Croce:

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After a lot of searching we found the perfect restaurant for dinner – pizza of course.  We were looking for somewhere that would be comfortable enough for a family but with food delicious enough to appease the grown ups.  We passed up restaurant after restaurant until we had taken two sharp lefts and accidentally discovered Piazza Gaetano Salvemini with a restaurant patio that had at least one other family eating and enough customers to make us think the food might be really tasty…

“Maestro Ciliegie” – what a wonderful discovery.  The owner’s (pregnant) wife and young daughter were having their evening meal at the next table.  Our server was kind, patient and attentive… we loved the food and family atmosphere so incredibly much that we plan to eat here again tomorrow… (check back to see the greatest meal of our holiday!) and if I find myself in Florence again any time soon I will head directly back for another amazing meal – it was that special.

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Tonight’s menu selection: one diavola and one prosciutto con funghi…

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…plus a  half litre of cheap (and delicious!) white wine as well as one very large beer…

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After dinner we wandered until we found the best gelato at Vivoli: amaretto, cioccolato, apricot and mango! (All delicious, but also worth visiting just for the charm and history…)

While we walked with our dessert we found ourselves at the Piazza della Signoria, next to the Uffizi and the Palazzo Vecchio.  You can’t wander in the heart of Florence without discovering something amazing around every corner…

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At the end of it all we found ourselves falling into bed exhausted but elated and looking forward to a whole new day of exploration and adventure …

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