Florence

Another hectic day arrives and we are up fed and drive to the Centre of Florence.

We arrive at the accademia where we meet our guide Maddalena who is smitten with the statue of David by Michelangelo. The statue is massive and is an incredible piece of work which over the years has had some damage caused by both weather and idiots attacking it but is still just about in one piece.

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We then go on a walking tour where we visit the Piazza Duomo followed by piazza Signoria and finally Piazza Santa Croce close to the Florence Pantheon. There is then an offer to visit one of the many gold shops and also a leather factory which produces amazing hand made bags etc. we decline both and instead head off and grab some lunch and a cold drink in the square interrupted by the hordes of Romany Gypsies begging. One of these is wearing a new looking leather jacket, a skirt and shoes which don’t look cheap, she is also holding a laminated sign telling a story that she has a child dying from leukaemia. A short time later we get a visit from another older woman who has the exact same sign and she gets brushed off by us as well. Funnily we witness the first Gypsy now on her new mobile phone sitting in the square. As we are trying to relax a street artist tries to sell us paintings then another guy offers us a great deal on a selfie stick by this time our brush offs are getting a little bit faster and louder until we get some peace for five minutes.

Before long we were back on the coach where we head south making a visit to the American War cemetery of Florence.

After a short time we push on through the Chianti hills to a fantastic and picturesque little hilltop town called San Gimignano.

Dominic our tour Director shouts us all a gelato in Dondoli’s Gelateria which was superb and delivered to all in a very fast manner.

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We then tour the Mayors square where Dominic delivers a history lesson as only he could with his vast knowledge and clever delivery which makes you listen to every word.
With the sun setting we grab a bite to eat and a drink before taking in the beautiful views of the Tuscan hills and their winter tree colours before heading down the hill to the coach. After a bit of a drive we arrive at our new hotel, the Antony in Mestre where we check in and then have dinner before we shower and get straight to sleep. Tomorrow we will leave Florence and head for Venice via Verona.

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