After leaving Siena which is famous for its cuisine, art and medieval cityscape, our journey continued as we were chauffeured by our competent and very skilled bus driver, Michele (pronounced Mi shel ee) and we eased on into Florence. We had an appointment to enter the Accademia gallery (ack a day mee a) to see the famed statue David by sculptor Michelangelo. Of course there was a long line but all 30 of us led by our 2 Florence guides breezed right to the front of the line because that’s the way we do it. We do what we must to make it comfortable for our guests. While they spent time in the gallery, I taxied to our lovely hotel, The Grand Minerva to chill and do some work after which I met the group for lunch at Osteria Baroncelli. Here they had another fabulous meal with a continuous flow of red and white wine.
Florence, is a true shoppers paradise and shop they did. The July sales had just begun and the shoppers enjoyed the discounts and putting their bargaining skills to use.
The next day was a day of bus, trains, and boats as we made our way to the famed and picturesque CINQUE TERRE ( sink way tare day) “5 lands”. Our driver drove us to La Spezia where we then took a train to Monterosso. Some of my favorite places begin with the letter “M”. Now the beach town of Monterosso takes her place next to: MYKONOS and MALDIVES. As we exited the train station, Wow!!! There was the beach; beautiful blue water, colorful umbrellas and tons of people on the beach. I instantly felt the energy and immediately understood why the train was so crowded. We touched 2 of the other villages: Vernazza and Riomaggiore which we accessed by train and ferry. They can have the others, just give me Monterosso where we dined at the Michelin starred Restaurant, MIKY. The service was exceptional and the food was divine. Imagine flambéed seafood Risotto prepared table side by the owner/manager herself. The group was treated like the royalty they were.
All in all it was a very interesting and enjoyable day before heading back to Florence with our driver and our Guide, Ele who has been with us since day one. Everyone has taken a serious liking to Ele and will hate to say goodbye. Now we will always remember her as we fondly remember Nicolette from our 2014 Italy by Private Motor Coach Tour.
Today was the town of Lucca and then on to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Tomorrow it’s a guided visit of Castello del Trebbio with wine and olive tasting, followed by The Mall Outlet with priority entrance at the Gucci shop.
Wednesday, we will all head to our respective homes and say “Arrivederci” Italy!