Tag Archives: tourist

Florence, Day 20-22: From Student to Tourist — No, Make That ‘Traveler’



Since school ended, I’ve been playing teacher — or trying to, at least. I’ve been attempting to share all I have learned with my love, knowing that teaching, in fact, teaches the teacher; or better put, you learn by teaching.

We’ve visited Santa Maria Novella, the Accademia, the Uffizi, Bargello and a few other museums, and we’ve been walking the city, all of which has so beautifully taken us on this journey from the ancients (Renaissance inspiration) to the Dark or Middle Ages (Gothic) to the Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque. Florence’s art history peters out a bit after that, but does not fade completely.

If all of this art history fascinates you, welcome to my world. If it’s enough about “-isms” and history, join me as I try my best not to drown my husband in “too much” and we escape off to the countryside. From a walled city with a tower growing trees to a Vespa in the countryside, even I can only take “so much.”

Here’s a tip: Visit Florence off-season, from late October to early May. If you love art, January is ideal, and if you desire lots of sun, closer to the spring and fall. But this time of year, I have to escape on the weekends; the crowds thicken and my need for trees grows.

So this weekend, it was Lucca and Chianti. Lucca is delightful, they say; it’s not touristy, but show up on a September weekend and you won’t be alone. Delightful? Yes, but please, please take me to the countryside.

This is partly me; my heart and soul and art belong to the country. The rolling hills, the agriculture, the sound of the birds and the wide open spaces call my name. And it’s not a quiet call.

So Sunday, for my hubby’s birthday I booked a Vespa tour of Chianti. Yes, I did this last weekend but my love did not, and, after all, I am a landscape painter.

I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story and leave you with this thought: Love your farmers, eat local whenever possible and breathe deep the air of nature when ever you can!



Florence, Day 15: The Tuscan Tourist



This weekend I got to play tourist and, truth be told, I really am an educationally minded one. But Italian, unfortunately, I am not.

Today I was off to Siena, a gorgeous vineyard outside San Gimignano, then San Gimignano itself and, for dessert, Pisa. Join me on a little photo tour of Tuscany.

First to Siena. Sigh, Siena!

Oh, Siena … I could get used to you.

Lunch was here, at the Fattoria Poggio Alloro.

On the San Gimignano, the city itself. From our lunch spot we could view the famed city and its towers, but now to explore.


The first thing I like to do is get up high and scope the view. So I claimed the tower.


Then viewed the museum with precious works; very sweet.


And then a quick walk about town.

Leaving San Gimignano altogether too soon … We rushed off to Pisa to watch the sunset and see if we could hold up that leaning tower.

And the sun sets on a glorious day in Tuscany. My host today was Walkabout Tours Best of Tuscany. I normally do not like tours, but with a tight schedule, this one did a fabulous job!

Grazie mille!