Photos and tips on what to see and do in Florence, Italy.

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We spent 3 days in Florence. We covered the usual tourist “must see’s” and also took an interesting tour that most wouldn’t be aware of. Here is a quick recap:

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Photo Essay on one of our favorite towns – Cortona, Italy

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Cortona is one of our favorite Italian towns. It’s a small, quiet town situated on a commanding hill. There are great views in every direction. People may recognize the name of the town from the book ‘Under a Tuscan Sun’ (which was made into a movie) by Frances Mayes.

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A Tour of San Gimignano and the Chianti region, Italy.

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The smaller towns and countryside of Tuscany are impossible to visit without a car. So I booked a day tour with a company called Tuscan Escapes. On the agenda: pick up in Siena, a tour of San Gimignano, some wine tasting and sightseeing in the Chianti region, and drop off in Cortona.

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Awed by the Highlights of Siena, Italy. And thoughts on Italian fashion…

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We headed south after Pisa, the geography getting hillier and greener as we approached Siena.

Siena is a hilly, pretty city with one of the most beautiful piazzas in Italy (Piazza del campo), the 2nd highest tower in Italy (Torre del Mangia), and the most impressive Duomo (cathedral) I’ve ever seen. The interior of the Duomo is absolutely jaw dropping. It is a city full of churches, museums, and great views over the surrounding countryside.

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Please don’t hold up the tower – Pisa, Italy

Pisa, Italy

Pisa – We passed through Pisa for a couple of hours on our way from Lucca to Siena. It’s a worthwhile day trip as long as you can stand dealing with hordes of tourists. [Read more…]

Highlights and thoughts on Lucca, Italy

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We both agreed that while Lucca doesn’t have the highlights of some of the other Italian towns we visited, it is a relaxing, pretty town that makes for a good 2 day stopover. It is in complete contrast to nearby Pisa.

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Photo Essay on gorgeous Vernazza, Cinque Terra

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Vernazza, one of the 5 villages in the Cinque Terra, is idyllic in many ways. In other ways it is another example of rampant tourism.

Geographically it is gorgeous. The town is built up on the steep cliffs that surround the harbor. Pastel colored houses, small windy alleys decorated with potted plants, laundry hung out to dry from green-shuttered windows. A small fort on the harbor. It is a walker’s delight, each alley seems to bring yet another beautiful [Read more…]

Highlights of a Trip around Europe

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Everyone asks what our favorite places were on this trip and I always have a tough time with that one because it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Lauterbrunnen and the [Read more…]

Highlights of a trip to Venice, Italy. And why proposing on a gondola is not a good idea…

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Every corner of Venice is another painting. Three days we walked the city, usually getting lost. Tons of alleys, little bridges over canals, squares with churches. The detail is everywhere and the beauty [Read more…]