We spent a week in Italy, staying in Santa Margherita, a small town south of Genoa (next to Portofino, if you know where that is).

This put us within striking distance of Firenze, only a 3-4 hour train ride away. We have a fridge magnet of David with various items of clothing, so we wanted to show the kids the real thing. Even better, the trip requires changing trains in Pisa; why not stop there on the way? I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical; dragging the kids on an eight hour train ride could have been a nightmare!

We left in the morning, after a quick breakfast. The kids _loved_ the train ride, especially all of the tunnels through the cliffs along “Cinque Terre”: By the time we arrived in Pisa it was already hot (go figure; it’s July in Italy). Unfortunately, the wait to climb up the tower was over four hours, so we couldn’t do that, but we did eat lunch in its shadow before heading back to the train station.

We had planned to spend the hottest part of the day on the train, and it seemed to work; we arrived in Firenze around 4PM, and it was already starting to cool down. We made sure we had tickets and times for the return journey, and then headed off to the Piazza della Signoria, where David originally stood (there’s a copy there now, but the original is in a stuffy museum, so seeing the copy out in the square is better :-). We arrived to discover that the Palazzo Vecchio was being renovated, and David was surrounded by scaffolding!

The kids were a little disturbed by the “statue of Perseus”: in the Loggia dei Lanzi, but were soon distracted by a small group of art students sketching David. Charlotte wanted to ask what they were doing, but the question she eventually asked was “Can I help you colour?”. One _very_ nice young lady gave the kids a sheet of paper, and let them use her pastels; we now have two beautiful sketches of David (complete with scaffolding and the construction elevator :-) as souvenirs of the trip. This little exchange made the entire 8 hour journey worthwhile!

After a quick dinner we walked back to the train station, with Michaéla taking pictures of doors and windows along the way. Unfortunately, in order to get 20 extra minutes in Firenze, we ended up going home the long (slow) way, and arrived in S.Margherita just after midnight. The kids were completely spun (bouncing off the walls :) until about 20 minutes before the train stopped, when they both crashed. We ended up carrying them asleep up the (steep!) path to our rooms.

Three hours is definitely not enough time to see Firenze; we could have spent all day in the one Piazza :). Still, despite my misgivings, we had a very good time; Firenze is one place in Italy I will return to!


posted at 11:01 am on Thursday, July 17, 2003 in Personal | Comments Off on Firenze

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