2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Italy - Florence (Part 1)

It was time for our first Italian train ride.  This is our train arriving in the station.

Other trains in the station.   This is only about half the station and the looks of the trains varied greatly.
The interior of the train.

Bye, bye Venice

We saw a few of these spheres in the countryside.   I think they may be Doppler radar stations.

Can you believe we got up to 180 mph? 

We stayed at the Hostel Archi Rossi.  Actually in the hotel Mia Cara that was next door.  Behind the cabinet on the left is a desk with a computer hooked to the internet, a TV screen and a small table.

The bathroom was to the left of the entry door and down one step.  It had the prerequisite hair dryer by the sink, bidet and hot water wall heat rack.  Another shower whose opening was almost too small for me to enter.   
The most interesting thing was the electrical system.  These are our key which had a pencil-shaped attachment that had to be stuck in this wall plug in order for us to have electric power.   How smart!  We couldn't lose the keys and the electric was all off when we left.
Here's what the electric plug looked like.

View out of the bathroom window.  Lots of clothing hung out to dry. 

Our room was on the 2nd (3rd to U.S. residents since Italy starts with floor zero).  We went up two flight of stairs, down a hallway, up another flight of stairs, twisted through a bunch of hallways and finally came to this short flight of steps down to only our room.  Yeap, we were sent to the corner, the farthest room from the front desk.  There was an elevator for the first two floors and some days we used it.

The breakfast area was to the left of the stairs on the zero floor.
And oh what a buffet they had.  First machine you came to was the ice cream machine, then chocolate candies... yup, for breakfast!  Next was the cereal and milk.

There was a cooler with yogurt, butter and a few other condiments.

The next table had a bunch of tins of pre-made cookies and breads, a display of croissants and donuts and cooled containers of chopped fruits

Next was the juice dispenser and the hot drink dispenser.  Coffee is important and there are tons of choices.

The machine on the left is a toaster.  The hot containers held scrambled eggs, sausage and a rice mixture.  I can't remember what was in the far right containers.
Our first stop was the Mercato Centrale.  This was a huge food market with about anything you could think of.  We ate at Nerbone in the Market where they are known for their lampredotto, a spleen sandwich.  I tried it but it was a very messy sandwich that I didn't much care for.
We went to the Farmacia de Santa Maria Novella, the perfumery run by the Dominicans of the Santa Maria Novella since 1612.  Click on this and the following photos to read a little of the history

I was more interested in the architecture and opulence of the building than the products they sold.

This is the Church of Santa Maria Novella built in the 13th century.

We did a lot of wandering in the streets so this and the following photos are some of what we saw.

This dragon was on the corner of the building pictured above.

Along the line we found an area of all the upscale stores from Gucci to Prada.

I was really glad to see all the recycle bins.

Loved this Louis Vuitton window display.
We stopped at the Mercato Nuovo where people rub the nose of Porcellino (little boar) for good luck.

Oh, you can't go to Italy without running into gelato stores around every corner.  This was such a beautiful display that I just had to take a photo.  Of course we had gelato at least  half dozen times.

The Piazza della Signoria is surrounded by the Palazzo Vecchio, the Neptune fountain, a replica of Michelangelo's David and the loggia on the right. 

Monument to Cosimo dei Medici

Neptune fountain

Replica of David statue on left.

Loggia full of statues.

The front one is The Rape of the Sabines
There are even statues in the niches at the top of the loggia.

This statue is Perseus as he decapitated Medusa.

Our next stop was the Santa Croce Church.  It is  14th century Franciscan church with  19th century Victorian Gothic façade.

This building to the right of the square had lots of frescos.

Notice the busts in the frame surrounding this carving.
Click to see all of the Santa Croce Piazza

Our next stop was the Galileo Museum.


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