We left the beautiful Cinque Terre and took the train to Florence. We had been to Florence in 1990 with friends. However, we were looking forward to seeing this city again. Florence was going to be our home base for doing side trips to the vineyards of Tuscany ❤️🍷
We stayed in an apartment right next to the Duomo, which is Florence’s Cathedral. It was a great location and had a good size grocery store just around the corner. Since this was a high tourist area it was a bit noisy for part of the evening especially with the windows open. The bedroom was in the back so there was no issue sleeping. It was one of the apartments in this Duomo guesthouse.
On arrival, we visited the Galleria dell’Accademia as this is the home of the beautiful “David” of Michelangelo. It was much bigger than we had imagined it to be. We had purchased our tickets online prior to leaving Canada, so we didn’t have to stay in a line-up to get tickets. That was a plus as the line-up was quite long.
Our next stop after having visited the gallery was Trattoria Mario to grab a bite to eat. This place has been opened since 1953! Trattoria Mario is a tiny little family-operated restaurant. The menu on the wall was written on pieces of paper and listed the homestyle traditional food items that they served. Don’t expect fine dining here. The day we were in there it was quite the lively spot. You sit at the first place that comes available and most times it’s with strangers, which was fine with us. It’s what makes it memorable. Great food by the way!
The next day we were off to the countryside to taste some of those great Tuscan wines. 🍷 In order to have an enjoyable wine tasting experience we opted for a small group wine tour, that included visiting smaller reputable vineyards. Prior to leaving Canada we had done our homework and we finally booked our tour with wine tour in Tuscany . Donatella Nonni, who is by the way quite funny and entertaining, is a private tour guide and does her tours, herself. She lives in Sienna and is therefore very knowledgeable of the area and its wines. Donatella drove her van and it took us approx. two hours to get to the first winery. We ended up with a small group of tourists who enjoyed wine tastings as much as us. It was an amazing day and we got to taste some awesome wines. We were treated to an authentic Tuscan lunch at her friend’s villa, overlooking the vineyard and olive grove. This tour is not cheap but it’s well worth the money. Would do it again tomorrow! It was an incredible day with some fascinating people to share it with! 😊
Here below are a few photos that will hopefully assist us in years to come, taking us back to that amazing day.
This homemade tiramisu in the photo below was “assolutamente delizioso”!
The following day we were on the bikes. Before leaving Canada we had booked with a company called Bike in Florence. They offered a one day escorted bike tour in Tuscany from San Gimignano to Monteriggioni, then on to Siena. The price also included picking us up in Florence.
Our guide was Elena. She was an avid biker herself and was very accommodating. You can’t cycle fast in Tuscany as at every turn there is a view. However be prepared for hills, the Tuscany region is by no means flat. But having said that if your fitness level permits, there is no better way to experience the beauty of Tuscany than on a bike. We even got to do some more wine tasting!
On Thu, May 28, 2015, at 9:59 PM, Aline wrote:
Piero, just wanted to let you know that my husband & I had the most amazing day yesterday with Elena . she is special and took such good care of us . We felt so welcomed in her company. We enjoyed everything about our day . When we return to Canada we send a wonderful review of your bike tour .
Dear Aline and Bernard,
We were sad to leave Tuscany but at the same time excited to move on to the Amalfi Coast.