Somewhere I had meant to revisit for best part of 20 years since a long forgotten trip back in my school days. I knew Italy was going to be amazing, and wasn’t disappointed.
Rather than jet in to Rome and spend a week missing so many other things, we decided to start the trip off in Florence for a few days before hiring a car and winding our way down to Rome via Tuscany.
Florence was as I expected it to be, beautiful, and we really didn’t do it justice spending just a couple of days there. Highlights were rounding the corner in the Accademia Gallery and seeing the jaw-dropping Michelangelo’s David, absolutely incredible and we must have spent a good hour just with this one piece, Ellie spending a not inconsiderable amount of time on the seats behind him staring at his arse!
Dinner that night was in a place recommended to me by a friend, Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco, to our surprise we were given the table for two on its own in the mezzanine level overlooking the other diners, very romantic, and the food was amazing, if you visit Florence be sure to check this restaurant out.
The other galleries in Florence were as good as the Accademia, particularly Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ in the Uffizi museum, one of those works that you are instantly familiar with but can’t quite appreciate without seeing up close in person.
It was then time to hit the road and work our way through Tuscany with a night in a fantastic ‘Agriturismo’ villa, highly recommended if a little on the pricey side during the peak seasons! We visited a number of little towns on the way, Pienza and San Gimignano the highlights.
I was very keen whilst in Tuscany to find the single track road made famous in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, you probably know the one if you’ve seen it – Maximus walks through the tall grass towards his wife and son, and after some internet sleuthing we managed to find it, was more mud than tall grass at this time of year but still breathtaking views from the top of the road towards the house perched atop the hill at other end, can see why it was used for such a big blockbuster film.
So then we carried on towards Rome, huge, ancient, fascinating, it was my first time in the Italian capital and that recurring theme of not being there long enough to do it justice popped up again, 4 days simply not enough, but we managed to fit in all the usual suspects, The Roman Forum, Coliseum, Vatican City & St. Peters Basilica, Numerous churches, and loads more, cannot wait to get back and explore more.
Brilliant trip, one of the best I’ve ever been on, Italy has such a variety of places and things to see it is without doubt my favourite country to visit, particularly keen to get back to Tuscany and spend more than 36 hours in the rain there, keep an eye on the blog for that one!