Breakfast was great at the Hotel Ateneo, we had ordered a water taxi the night before, great driver, and arrived at the train station in 10-15 minutes.
Now on the train almost to Firenze / Florence, Italy.
Arrived and went to the Hotel booking place. They found us a room for €70 – I think it was a little high. Nice hotel, Hotel Genesio.
The room was a nice size in a corner overlooking courtyards, a window on each corner with shutters. Outside one window was an apricot tree filled with ripe apricots, a beautiful splash of colour in an otherwise green view. Of course you saw other apartments and the usual hanging laundry and little flower gardens on the occasional balcony. We did see a church steeple in the direction of the train station.
We left and turned right outside the hotel doors and wandered down the street. We came upon a Square/piazza and had a very good lunch at an outdoor café. Liam had the pasta salad with egg, Brendan had a ham omelette served with fried eggplant, zuchini, and asparagus. I had a wrapped ham scallopini stuffed with cheese, fried potatoes and veggies.
We headed down the street saw the Duomo and headed towards it. We paid the €8 entry fee (the gate keeper only charged us for 2) total €16. Up we climbed the 424 steps. Up and up and up with twists and turns and forever up until we came to the upper inner dome. Nice view,snapped a couple of pics, then up we went again and again in narrow paths meeting people going down and squeezing by people with backpacks. At one point the boys wanted me to be a monster and chase them, I … Agreed and started to chase them up the stairs roaring like a monster. I came around a corner going up the stairs at breakneck speed, chasing the boys, when a guard was in front of me and told me to be quiet because we were in a church. I obliged and fell silent until we emerged upon the roof of the Basilica. The boys were impressed with the view, as was I. This was my third time up there. A little different view when you are older, that’s fer sure. We descended quickly onto the square and continued on our adventures.
Next stop after meandering down the streets was a little square, one of many, and we sat down to find out where we were on the map. I didn’t have a clue, ah but who cares we are on holidays. So up we got and walked, looking down a street I saw what appeared to be a large building and piazza. We followed the road and ended up in another famous square… With a palace and an outdoor sculpture gallery. We looked and continued down the street through a narrow road, due to construction and passed sculptures of Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilee, and more. We went through an arch and were confronted by a river. To the right sat the Ponte Vecchio.
While crossing the bridge I asked the boys if they knew what the stores were selling. They, being astute, said Jewellery stores. We crossed over and tried a gelato on the other side and came upon yet another square with another big building…A gallery!
Back we headed to the hotel, of course getting lost again- my ongoing joke with the boys. We visited the Piazza de Republique and went into a hardware store to look for clothes pins/ pegs. They didn’t have any, wonder where you buy them in Italy. Also stopped at a wine shop to get a cork screw for the wine I had bought.
Back at the hotel I sampled the white wine, Sassaia del Virginio (2009) – Chardonnay-Sauvigion, Toscana. Really enjoyed the flavour, texture and quality of it, green, fruity, and wonderful finish.
Dinner time! Entered a small café around the corner from the Hotel and had cannelloni with a lettuce and tomato salad, Brendan had tortiglione with meat sauce, Liam had Bruschetti with ham. Good food at a good price….name restaurant….