Classic Italy: Florence Hop 2
If you are one of those who loves to explore a country by road, read on! This journey will be an amazing experience from the start point of Venice to end of the cycle tour in the outstanding beauty of Florence.
In between these two historic cities, you cycle through an almost unknown Italy where kiwi, peach, melons, vineyards and sunflowers line the way. You will discover an Italy of small towns and places far-far off the beaten track where you can enjoy a cappuccino in one of the many little cafés on the piazza while listening to the local’s discussing their sports and politics! The short journey of 270 km takes one from Venice’s canals through Mira, Padua, Monselice, Revigo, Perrara, Bologna and finally to Florence, home to Michelangelo’s David.
For the train hoppers, the high speed AV train – the Silver Arrow “Frecciargento” is the simplest option out. The AV trains run every hour reaching the destination in two quick hours without any changeover. Once in Florence, head down to Caffe Giacocosa to enjoy aperitivo (pre-dinner cocktails and snacks). The favourite Italian cocktail, the Negroni, debuted at Caffe Giacocosa.
What to See
Explore the beautiful city of Florence and discover masterpieces by the Renaissance’s greatest artists!! The iconic Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) was the largest cathedral in Europe when it was built during the 13th-15th century, accommodating nearly 30,000 worshippers. Visit the Galleria dell’Accademia to view Michelangelo’s famous David and see the Church of Santa Croce.
The Uffizi Gallery houses an indepth art collection that reveals the development of Florentine art from Gothic to High Renaissance and beyond. Visit Palazzo Vecchio, a fortress-like city hall, with its massive bulk and towering campanile, it dominates the Piazza della Signoria. If you find yourself on the fabled Ponte Vecchio, notice the bust of Benvenuto Cellini. It is a tradition for lovers to “lock their love” with a padlock on the rails surrounding Cellini.
Where to Stay
VILLA SAN MICHELE
Villa San Michele is can simply be one of the most romantic hotels in the world. This former 15th century monastery, nestled on a hilltop amid lush trees and terraced gardens, enjoys unparalleled vistas of Florence.
The Villa’s facade is attributed to Michelangelo. Step inside and you experience the glory and beauty that can be expected of an Italian Renaissance monestery. Here, each visitor is a privileged guest, invited to stroll in the Italian gardens, bursting with lemon trees and fragrant roses, and savour superb Tuscan cuisine on the alfresco loggia.
After site seeing I departed for the beautiful Tuscan hill towns of Cortona, made famous by Frances Mayes in Under the Tuscan Sun, and Montepulciano, known for its Vino Nobile wines.