Train adventures and Florence

We decided that although we loved Cinque Terre and would love to stay that we would go for the adventure of traveling during a slowdown (lots of cancelled trains) since it wasn’t a full blown strike. All trains that ran became regional instead of the fast, nicer intercity cars but upside was no reservations needed and no tickets taken. And, ironically, we arrived an hour earlier than expected.

Tunnel to the trains
through the tunnel along the Mediterranean
waiting for the train

Carrera along the way – where Michelangelo got his stone

Carrera white marble quarry

We walked from Santa Maria Novella train station to our hotel near the Duomo. The first view of the dome…

 

view from hotel room
Duomo

Michael (our nephew) met us at the hotel within an hour of our arrival. First task was lunch for us. Mike took us to a small non-touristy sandwich shop and ordered for us in Italian.

 

Mike ordering in Italian

Then he took us on a tour including several churches and piazzas

 

and then over the Arno

to Piazzale Michelangelo to a beautiful church – all with a great view of the city of Florence.

Mike’s city – I like this picture!!

Beautiful church and very interesting graveyard

cool old cemetary behind the church

Then we walked back across the ponte vecchio bridge and through some of the oldest areas of Florence – we were impressed when we got back how much he had shown us!

Ponte Vecchio bridge

Tonight is light dinner and gelato night! And resting my poor old legs….I am lying in bed now looking out my window at the dome on the cathedral, hearing many people talking and laughing below – so opposite to the quiet of offseason Lake Como and Cinque Terre.

Pictures of the Duomo near sunset and of our hotel right across from it.

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