Travel day! We left Bologna and arrived in Florence early afternoon. It’s only about a 40-minute trip by fast train. We had a lot of luggage between everyone in the group so it was challenging to get everything and everybody on board in four minutes.
I have a special place in my heart for Florence. We’ve been here many times and always enjoy our visits. We’re staying at the Pensione Pendini in the Piazza Della Repubblica. I stayed here about 20 years ago and they have made some upgrades to the bathrooms – yay! and kept the charm of this old hotel. Two thousand years ago in the place where this hotel now exists, a Roman military camp set up for the control of nearby Fiesole and gave life to the first urban settlement on which the city of Florence was born.
Unpacking only took minutes because we were anxious to hit the streets. We perused a few street artists and found a picture that is coming home with us. Then we walked to the duomo. Lines to get in were wrapped around the building. It is still as breathtaking as the first time we saw it. Photos of course do not do it justice.
Later in the afternoon, we met up with Gill and Des. So excited to see them and get in a quick chinwag before meeting the rest of the group for dinner. Such a delightful chat – to be continued tomorrow I’m sure!
Dinner was at the San Paolino Restaurante. There is a theme throughout the restaurant and hotel that relates to Hell, purgatory, and heaven. Their website promises that “it will feel like being in the garden of Eden!” We were doing our best to stay out of hell! But then a few glasses of wine later….
We skipped gelato tonight and went back to the hotel. Tomorrow is a full day of shopping, eating, drinking, and enjoying this beautiful city from the historic streets to the top of Piazzale Michelangelo.