When we think of Tuscany we picture lovely green rolling hills, festooned with grapevines, and small winding roads dotted by elegant villas. Well, that vision is met by Val d’Orcia, a well-preserved region of open farmland in southern Tuscany that has managed to remain untouched by industry, freeways, urban sprawl.
May 10, 2013
Prato is the second largest city in Tuscany after Florence, and the two are so close together, these days they are almost merging. Prato dates back to Roman times and has been a major textile city relying on the local wool industry for many centuries.
May 1, 2013
Guided tours are excellent ways to get acquainted with a new destination when you first arrive. There are hop on/hop off bus tours, walking tours, and bicycle tours. Cities on water often have boat tours. But some cities lend themselves well to yet another kind of transportation – the Segway. Florence is just such a city, with a compact and flat enough historic center to make a Segway tour a good option for getting to know the city.
April 24, 2013
Parents who love to travel know the value in exposing their kids to the world’s wonders – but sometimes making Renaissance art interesting to children isn’t an easy task. Italy is a very child-friendly country in which to travel, however, and bringing your kids to Florence can be as much of an education for you as it is for them.
April 17, 2013
If you’re familiar with any of the churches in Florence, it’s likely that you’ve seen the Duomo – that famous facade with its layers of multi-colored marble is pretty easy to remember. It’s a completely different church, however, in which you’ll find the tombs of many of Florence’s famous sons – the Basilica of Santa Croce.
April 10, 2013
So, you see something called the “Mercato delle Pulci” on your Florence shopping must-see list, right? “Mercato” is easy to figure out – that’s market. As for the rest, it’s unclear – is it a location? Someone’s name? Actually, it’s neither – “pulci” is the Italian word for “fleas.” That’s right – the “Mercato delle Pulci” is Florence’s flea market.
March 20, 2013
Visiting Italy isn’t cheap, so finding ways to save money without sacrificing on your experience are always welcome. Thankfully, in many cities – including Florence – some of the top attractions are also free, so you don’t have to worry about compromising anything. Here’s a selection of some of the free things to do in Florence.
November 1, 2012
One of the distinct pleasures of a visit to Italy is the shopping – and even if your budget doesn’t include coming home with a new Versace handbag or pair of Prada shoes, you can still bring something home from the spoils of outdoor markets like the ones in Florence. What’s more: depending on which market you visit, you can pick up goodies for the kitchen, your closet, or a any other room in the house.
September 19, 2012
The first thing to know when you see “Florence” on the itinerary of your Mediterranean cruise is that your ship won’t be docking in Florence’s city center. A quick glance at a map of Italy will show you the Renaissance capital lies quite a distance from the coast, so the top tip for cruise visitors to Florence is this: you need to get yourself to Florence.
August 22, 2012
From the austere facade of the Pitti Palace in Florence, you would never know that an expansive and elaborate garden lies just over the palace walls. The Boboli Gardens were once the private gardens of the ruling Medici family who used to live in the palace. Today, this former royal backyard is open to the public.