Since 2005, when I first came to Florence, it has been a pedestrian city, with many streets blocked from traffic. Now, Mayor Renzi has expanded the pedestrian zones even further! This is fantastic for tourists and pedestrians, but not so good if you have a car. I have never understood why someone would bring a car into Florence, but they do. Parking is expensive, and hard to find. The city is small and the old buildings cannot withstand the emissions of cars, and the pollution costs the city lots of money for cleaning.
The large areas that are now pedestrianized are Tournabouni Street, and the street in front of Palazzo Pitti. Thankfully, with these changes, I am able to keep my pedestrian road rage under control!
I took a day trip to Pisa. Pisa is a great place for a day trip, because it is very manageable in a day. The main historic sites are located in the Campo dei Miracoli. (Field of Miracles). This is where the famous leaning tower is located. There is also the principal Duomo as well as the Baptistry.
Pisa has a nice main street filled with shops and restaurants and bars, and leads the way to the famous piazza. You cross the Arno river which flows to the sea at this point.
The leaning tower is leaning much more in person than is depicted in the photos. It was allegedly strained somewhat for stabilization, but it is hard to believe at that tilt!
If you decide to go, try to resist the temptation to look like a tourist and “hold” the leaning tower into place. Really, you never know who is watching. Check out some of these photos of folks in their “Kodak moments”.
This month the concerts in Piazza della Republicca are almost every night! This is a wonderful cultural event that gives a lot of people who otherwise might not have exposure to orchestra’s or classical music, dance, and opera, an opportunity to see spectacular shows for free in an unbelievable setting.
The shows usually start about 9:30 and end at 11. Unfortunately, there is no clear or published schedule that I have been able to locate. For tourists who stumble upon these during their evening stroll, it is not a problem, but for us locals planning our evening activities, it would be nice to know what the options are. For now, I go from piazza to piazza to see which evening entertainment I would prefer……lots of choices! I like that!
Sunflowers are my favorite. I guess it all started when I discovered Van Gogh paintings. When I saw them actually growing by the thousands in a field, I was hooked. Now, I take special trips solely for the purpose of seeing the sunflowers growing wild in the countryside.
This was my first excursion this summer for this purpose, and I was a little afraid I was too early, but wasn’t disappointed. The photos aren’t great because they were taken from the window of a speeding train, but you get the sense of what it is like. Incredible!