November 3, 2009, 12:23 AM
Congrats to you and to Valérie on your engagement!
It sounds like you organized everything perfectly, setting up the scene wonderfully for a very romantic dinner - she could not say but yes!
Please do post about the rest of your trip before you forget it - I am enjoying hearing about your impressions of Italy and Tuscany immensely and I am sure others will find it useful. Love your pictures, thank you very much for sharing with us!
November 4, 2009, 12:45 AM
Actually, I was hoping for a romantic dinner, but it was more of a party. There were 14 of us in the group for dinner and we got split in 2 tables! The people there were awesome so it was a really special moment.
Well I have to say, I think maybe we tried to do to much in the trip Oh well, I regret nothing, it was awesome. Next time in Italy, we'll spend at least a month
I'll post about the rest of Tuscany soon, it will be a very long post!
November 25, 2009, 04:26 PM
Ok, so better late then never! Tuscany!
November 27, 2009, 12:36 PM
I totally agree with what you wrote about the Cinque Terre - beautiful, spectacular, definitely must see - but trying to see all of them in one day is trying to cram too much and doing everything is a hurry takes away from it.
We spent a night in Manarola, we liked it best of all of the towns. Two nights were a good time to see everything and not in a hurry. The round trip train from Florence was about 2 hours and 15 minutes and cost about 42 euros per person (round trip). You can spend less with maybe just half an hour more of traveling time, depends on the trains you take. Then the park card with unlimited train travel is 8,50 euro per person for one day (less than double if you get it for 2 days from the start). It is expensive to visit as you point out but definitely recommend using the train to get there to avoid all the other car related costs.
Tuscany - WOW! You did so much! How many days were you here? Love your recommendations about the wineries and am glad you enjoyed Montefioralle so much .
I have to agree Lucca is beautiful and very charming, merits spending time there. Pisa on the other hand is undervalued - everything is concentrated on the Square of Miracles and other things are not even mentioned. Just spending time in the square though is worth it. While the tower is expensive (15 euro per person!) I considered I had to do it at least once in my lifetime and go up while it is permitted... and it was such a weird interesting experience to go up a lopsided building. The walls tell you one thing, your sense of balance tells you another. You get down and feel like the world really did move under your feet. But obviously everyone should decide whether they want to try it or not. I love the Camposanto, and the frescoes saved from the WW2 bombings in particular. The interior of the baptistery doesn't offer anything in particular but stick around to the next posted time when they do a demonstration of the acoustics - all the doors are closed and a staff person goes to the center and sings a few notes which then echo back perfectly.
Well just adding some personal notes for anyone interested
I want to hear about Rome too so come back and post that one some time soon .
EDIT: round trip train ride from Florence to Riomaggiore can also cost just 19 euros per person - cost of train travel totally depends on which type of trains you take and sometimes you have no choice because of schedules.
November 27, 2009, 03:13 PM
I didn't know the train was so much. In that case, driving there might just be cheaper, especially if your B&B or hotel offers parking. wheter you spend a day or two, it's so much worth a visit.
I think we probably did to much... Oh well, next time I'm coming to Italy it will be for a month at least! I don't recommend this for anyone, you need to cut back on some stuff. But it's hard to plan, there are so many places to see and we had to little time...
It's Magic dinner at Castello di Verrazano
Drinking wine in the vineyards of Montefioralle
The incredible panoramas along the SR222 and SR2
Duomo of Siena
Gardens of Palazzo Pfanerr in Lucca
The Honey Truffle & Brie Cortono at Caffe Le Logge in Grève
Boboli Gardens in Florence
Crazy italian drivers and finding parking in cities!
Restaurants that only open at 7h00pm+
December 2, 2009, 06:52 AM
We spent a lot of time in the streets of Florence, walking, eating, shopping and peeking into homes here and there. Like New York, domestic life and street life are mixed, and you have the comfortable feeling of never really being far from home. Absolutely beautiful, I'm green with envy. I so miss the culture and beauty of Italy. Thank you so much for sharing!