Wednesday, September 12, 2012

To Florence

We made our way rolling our bags to the Lucca train station. While there, I was stalked by "would be" pickpockets which was really creepy and we got away from them.
On the train we found our seats were taken by an elderly couple. Arrgh! Not willing to boot them out of our seats, we got seats by the door, when some other guys who didn't have reserved seats moved and sat out in the hallway.
Made it to Florence! We rolled our suitcases to the Hotel Pendini using Arne's amazing Gps. Checked in to our great room!

 Our amazing suite overlooking the piazza.

Hotel Pendini is on the huge piazza Dell Republica. It was quite the center of activity. We were up on the 4th floor.
Sights and sounds of our view down to the square:


We got lunch at a pizza place, then walked around and found the Duomo area.Wow! Just a few blocks away!

The Baptistry doors!
 After coming back for shower and anp, we went back to Duomo to climb the Campanille tower, 440 steps!! Great view of the Duomo and Florence!
 Hey, there's our hotel!



Arne thought these little Davids were funny in the gift shop!

Pausing with my expensive iced coffee freddo.

Guess that wasn't enough, we still had to find the GROM gelato!

I think we ate there twice today....
We went down to Piazza Signoria and sat for awhile looking at the sculptures and listening to the live music.
I got some video of the music so you can get a feel for how it was here:
Then we headed down for a look at the Ponte de Vecchio Bridge. Here's the not as pretty side:

Here's the more photographed side:

We ate tonight at Robiglio a block away. I had bruschetta, carbonara. Arne had truffled ravioli. We hit the wall foodwise and couldn't finish and it was really hot inside. But a beautiful dinner just the same.

 Then Arne got food poisoning from something probably that he ate yesterday. It was a long night.
And the piazza had live music until 1:00 am. No sleep for us! We listened to loud jazz and Frank Sinatra type lounge music all night while poor Arne was sick. :(

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