The Route through Tuscany from our friend Miguel Angel - My Trip

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Dear Friends,

Today we are publishing the letter of Miguel Angel de la Cruz, a reader of the Blog who wants to share with us his journey through Tuscany. Thank you, Miguel! Thank you for helping make this Blog not just Giorgio’s Blog, but the Blog of its readers!



THE ROUTE THROUGH TUSCANY BY MIGUEL ANGEL

Hello all. Firstly, thanks must be awarded to Giorgio for his excellent work on this blog and everyone else who participates in it. Without this blog we could not have made this wonderful trip to those beautiful Tuscan lands that we have loved; her small towns, of which to us were the most beautiful cities and people…

We travelled in a group of four; my wife, two friends and I, we rented a car on the internet with the company Locauto (PONE LINK), very good, and we picked it up and dropped it off at the airport of Pisa. IT was a Renault Clío and cost 160 Euros for 5 days; it had 3000km and a GPS system, great!

We had decided not to visit too many museums and focus more on the cities and their people and not to give in to a binge of art. Well that is what we did.

07/07 Madrid – Pisa We arrived in Pisa at 12:05, picked up the car (quickly and without problems), stopping in two villages on the way.

Volterra – San Gimignano – Siena

We ate in Volterra and we visited the city, the Roman theatre and the archeological park, with the Etruscan ruins. We saw the fortress, but we couldn’t visit it as it’s a prison. After spending 4 hours, including the time it took to eat, about 17:30 we drove to San Gimignano, which took just over half an hour. It is a pretty village that we all loved for its towers, its streets, squares, and entire environment. I also believe that we chose the right hour, as it was the afternoon there was almost no tourists and the light was beautiful. We arrived in Siena, showered at the hotel and we had dinner in a pizzeria nearby.

08/07 – Montepulciano – Pienza – Bagno Vignoni – Siena

We left the hotel early on at 09:30, we got to Montepulciano, we visited the church San Biagio. We walked through the centre of this idyllic town of beautiful views and friendly people, we visited one of their wine cellars and at about 12:30 we went to Pienza, about 15 minutes away. This is a world heritage site, it is a lovely town, very small which you can visit quickly, but it has lovely views and a special charm. We decided to eat at Pienza and on the way to Siena make a detour to Bagno Vignoni, a very nice little town which has an enormous heated pool in its main square which dates back from the Roman times, there are also the ruins of Roman baths. We arrived in Siena at about 5pm and we visited the city until 21:00. We started the tour from Piazza San Domenico, with splendid views of the city, from there we went to the Duomo, which was lovely and the most beautiful cathedral that I have visited. We saw the market square, the synagogue, only from the outside though because it was closed, the Palazzo del Campo, Palazzo Publico, Palazzo Tolomei, Piazza Salimberi and back to Piazza S. Doménico, where we had left the car in the parking lot of the stadium of Siena. This day and the one before were the days we liked the most during our stay in Tuscany.

09/07 – Siena – Monteriggioni – Florencia

On the way to Florence we visited Monteriggioni, a small village of 40 houses completely surrounded by walls of a certain medieval charm, accentuated by a show which took place that night and all the people were dressed for the occasion. We would visit again straight away but we were there for more than two hours. We ate in Florence, near the hotel and we spent many more house in the heat and at about 17:30 we set out to visit the Oltrarno, we left the Vecchio bridge and from there we went up to Piazzale Michelangelo, via Santo Spirito, Palazzo Pitti and there at the Porta San Giorgio and the Forte di Belvedere and we continued to the Church of San Miniato al Monte. It was all uphill but through a huge park with lots of shade and even better views. The Piazzale Michelangelo, was packed with people, and we were there until the sun went down. Splendid views of the city, a visit to here is essential.

10/07 Florencia – Fiesole – Florencia

It’s too long to tell you what we saw this day, we visited all the usual spots, but we could not get in to either the Academia or the Galería degli Uffizi. The long queues were more than 4 hours long and we were a bit disappointed in Florence, perhaps expecting too much. We paid a lot in restaurants, parking, in the hotel it cost us 3 Euros more for each person and night because of a tax that has just come into force on July 1, which states that one should pay this fee, which is not for the hotel and they also charge this fee in other Italian cities such as Rome, Venice, Milan and Naples…what a bargain with the volume of tourists that these cities receive.

We went to watch the sunset at Fiesole, 5km from Florence, with a fantastic view of it setting over the Roman ruins. However, we couldn’t visit it because there was a wedding, and even if there hadn’t been we only arrived with 30 minutes to spare. We had dinner in Fiesole, in one of the terraces overlooking Florence.

11/07 – Florencia – Lucca – Marina di Pisa – Pisa

Lucca is a really beautiful city, an hour and a bit from Florence, not too crowded, and what a pleasure this is after Florence. Please note that there is a very good quality of life there and a walk around the old town is a delight, totally walled, with walls of 30 meters thick and they have been made a nice walk with trees, grass and other banks. We bought food, in weight, in a typical store next to the square of the amphitheatre and we ate it on the walls, lying on the lawn. We arrived too early to Pisa and as we had until the next day at 18:25 for our plane to visit the city. We decided to have a swim at the beach at the nearby Marina di Pisa, in Italy the beaches are marble, tiny little stones! We had dinner in Pisa, near the hotel, which was very close to the Piazza dei Miracoli. We saw the famous tower from the hotel entrance and walked around to see the whole bright lights and then we returned to the hotel to sleep.

12/07 Pisa – Madrid

There’s little to say about Pisa, apart from the square, which was spectacular. There’s not a lot to see there so we walked around until 16:30 and we went to the airport and we were fine in the morning but it wouldn’t be good to spend a whole day there.

I hope I have been helpful and anything you need, don’t hesitate in asking me.

To complete the story of our friend Miguel Angel de la Cruz I want to inform readers that to avoid long queues in Florence to visit museums you should buy entrance tickets in advance online at this website http://www.firenzemusei.it / (the official)



Thank you very much Michael and thank you very much to all of you for reading the blog,



Cordially

Giorgio







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