Cortona to Florence
Trip Start May 20, 2006
16Trip End Jun 04, 2006
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Where I stayed
Before leaving Cortona, we attempted to find Bramasole (Frances' home in the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun"). I finally decided to call it quits, after driving around the winding hills and narrow roads of Cortona for half an hour. Nausea got the better of me. Our search for Bramasole obviously wasn't meant to be. It may be another incentive to visit this beautiful town.
It started raining 20 minutes after we started our drive up to Florence
Our drive into the city of Florence was rather uneventful. We dropped off the rental car at Maggiore/Alamo and walked to Hotel Firenze, only 15 minutes away. Our hotel is located on Via del Corso, just a stone's throw away from Piazza della Repubblica, and conveniently located to many major attractions such as the Uffizi and the Duomo. The room was somewhat "dorm-like", very plain, with very little furniture. This didn't bother us, since we knew we would be out sight-seeing and therefore wouldn't be spending much time there. What did bother us were the extremely noisy American kids that were staying in the hotel. We could hear the kids, (who were on the 1st floor) from our room, located on the 3rd floor. And when we went downstairs to talk to the concierge, they confirmed that the noise was coming from a group of Miami kids... and that was as far as it got. Shocked by their lack of customer service, Cam asked them if we were staying at a hostel. I couldn't believe Cam would say such a thing...since he tends to have more patience than I do.
We spent the rest of the day familiarizing ourselves with our new surroundings
For dinner, we took Lonely Planet's recommendation and went to Leonardo Self-Service, a cafeteria-style restaurant. The food was good, with big portions and at a reasonable price. After dinner, we took a stroll along the Arno River and to Ponte Vecchio. Adorned with jewellery shops on both sides of the bridge, from one end to the other, it's hard to believe that Ponte Vecchio is even a bridge. It certainly is the place to be for bling-bling. But that wasn't always the case. In the 14th century, it was the home of town butchers who would throw unwanted leftovers into the Arno river, until Ferdinando I de' Medici ordered them out and replaced them with jewellery merchants.
It was a chilly evening, so we headed back to the hotel for an early night.