We are now in the Republic of San Marino. It is the oldest republic in the world. We took a bus from Rimini, Italy to San Marino. It was all uphill – thank goodness we didn’t walk. Here are a couple of pictures from our hotel balcony.
We checked in and this town does require going uphill as you will see. We went to see the changing of the guard at the palace – this is our 6th or 7th changing of the guard – then walked around town for a little bit. See picture of one of the streets.
Then we decided to go up the towers. Yes it was uphill again. We were on the top of the tower in the pic and then went to another tower and went up that one. The view is spectacular. I have many more pics on my camera.
Of course now it is time for dinner. The good here is Italian which makes sense since the Republic (country) is surrounded by Italy. We found a nice Italian restaurant and Marsha had an assortment of cheeses with jams and I had pasta with sausage and mushrooms. We then walked around town some more and went into a liquor store that sold cordials only made in San Marino. The clerk gave us samples and it was good. We are back early since we are traveling to Ravenna, Italy tomorrow.
After breakfast we decided to take a train to Pisa to see the tower. It is amazing how much it is leaning. We took our pics and toured the Cathedral and Baptistry and headed back to Florence. We were in time to do the free walking tour of the Medicis. Then we walked to Michelangelo’s burial place. By then we were ready for our late afternoon break. After our break we took a bus to Piazza Michelangelo to see an overview of the city.
We took a city bus from Piazza Michelangelo back to the city. This ride was better than a tour bus – it went all thru the city and we saw many different places that tourists usually don’t see. Than we went to the train station to check on schedules for San Marino. We had to make reservations and the train personnel were very helpful. Then we thought we should eat dinner because we will have to be up and at the train station early in order to catch our train. We were walking and believe it or not there were not many restaurants on our route. When we were close to the hotel we found a restaurant and just went in. The worst that could happen is we don’t like the food. What a gem of a place. The food was different than the usual Italian fare and it was great. Marsha had a puréed bean soup and the buffet and I had an assortment of meat, cheese and grilled vegetables. Mine wasn’t even on the menu. We liked the place so much we took pics of the menu. I hope you can read it. As I said tomorrow is an early day, so it’s time to get some sleep.
We are now in Florence. We checked in and went to see the sights. It was too crowded to go into the Duomo – see pic.
We continued on to the Academia to see the statue of David. Surprisingly that was not a long line so I got to see the original statue and some of the museum. We continued sightseeing and I was able to take a pic of the copy of the statue of David. We then continued to the Ponte Vecchio and take a pic from the bridge. We continued walking and saw the Piti Palace of the Medici’s. We then took a break – see pic. It was around 4:30 and we went to the Uffizi Museum. There was no line so we toured the museum until it closed at 7pm. We then went for dinner at a place known for the brick oven pizza. Naturally all was delicious. We then returned to the hotel – we need to plan our day for tomorrow.
We arrived in by train in Camucia (?) and took a bus to Cortona – known because of the book and movie “Under the Tuscan Sun.” I took a picture of the view, but the picture does not capture how beautiful this area is. Of course we walked uphill to our hotel – we think it is a convent! See pics .
We then went in search of “Bramisole” the villa prominent in the book and movie. It is a long, long walk uphill. In fact we walked past it and up to a church on the top of the mountain. When we walked back, we stopped at a little store to ask how to find “Bramisole”. We had passed it on the way up, but the directions were not clear. At the store we met an Australian couple who were also looking for the villa. They offered us a ride and the 4 of us found Bramisole – see pic .
We got into town and walked around looking at the little shops. This is really a nice area and nice town. After all the walking we stopped for a snack. Marsha had mozzarella and tomato andI had “bread with cheese and truffle oil”. We walked around again and went back to the hotel to get sweaters. Yes, it is cool in the evening and great weather during the day. Then it was time for dinner. Marsha had bread soup – I forget the Italian name and I had spaghetti.
Tomorrow we go to Florence.
We got up and went to breakfast at the hotel. There was chocolate fondue on the breakfast buffet plus chocolate croissants and cakes. Good breakfast. Then we thought we would try to go to a winery in Torgiano which is about 20km from Perugia. We walked to the train/bus station and found that we had to go to another bus station that went to different cities. That bus station was in the center of Perugia so we decided to walk – bad idea. It was a long, long walk up hill all the way. At least it wasn’t hot. When we finally arrived at the top we found a historical fortress and a really nice section if town. See pic and view of Perugia from the top of the hill.
We then found the bus station and the bus to take us to Torgiano and hopefully a winery. The trip to Torgiano is 1/2 hour, but we weren’t able to get to a winery. However, there is a wine museum in town so we went to see that. It was closed for lunch so we stopped at a little local cafe and asked for a glass of local wine. They brought us the wine plus snacks and it was only 4 Euros each. While we were in there it was raining, but when we left for the museum it had stopped. We toured the museum – see pic.
By the time we were done at the museum it was time to get the bus back to Perugia. We got on a city bus to take us to our hotel. We were going to eat at the Chinese restaurant close to the hotel, but it was pouring rain so we decided to eat in the hotel restaurant. I had tortellini with asparagus curry sauce and Marsha had artichoke stuffed ravioli. Needless to say Italians can do pasta. Then we decided to share a dessert which was called “English soup”. It to was great. Tomorrow we leave for Cortona.