Our blog writing has been on the back burner since Venice, as we had a really quiet couple of days en route to Florence. We had a night in a quiet seaside town called Casal Borsetti (near Ravenna, east coast) before heading to a small town called Riola Terme. Both pleasant enough places, but not worth writing about. Earlier in the trip, we would have probably driven away once we saw there wasn’t much happening. However, with it hitting over 30 degrees, we opted to hide from the sun and read instead.
After a trip to an electrical store, I decided that we needed some gadgets to help us cope with the conditions and treated us to a fan and an insect zapper. Whilst the fan turned out to be a good investment, the ultraviolet inspect trap turned out to be a bit pants, with the mosquitoes using the blue light to find us easier. You can’t win em all!
Our trip over to Florence turned in to a bit of an ordeal as we opted to avoid the tolls and go across country. Which actually meant going across the mountains and roads not really built for larger vehicles. Although they do always say that in tricky times, there is always someone worse off. The Romanian articulated lorry driver that we caught up with must have had the worst day of his entire life. If we were struggling, he was in all kinds of trouble, to the point where we considered calling the police to escorts him off of the mountains.
Not only for his own safety but for the safety of the hundreds of motorbikers that were treating the hills as a race track. The lorry was so big, the driver was having to take blind corners on the wrong side of the road. After a while he pulled in to a lay by at the side of the road. Perhaps to call his mum, or to order a taxi!
At the end of that journey we did have a nice campsite to look forward to. For the next three nights we would have all the mod cons, water, electricity and even a pool to enjoy! With it being Saturday, I opted to stay in and watch footy for most of the day whilst Sarah topped up her tan.
Perhaps it was the beautiful Tuscany Hills, or sunstroke, but we even treated ourselves to a meal in the campsite restaurant. Talk about living it up!! After so many weeks and months eating in the van we thought what the heck. Before we know it we’ll be back in England complaining about the rain again. It was whilst we were out having our meal that we saw probably the strangest thing of our entire trip. A couple who were eating in the restaurant had brought their pet cat with them. Not only that, their four legged, furry friend was sat at the table on his own chair. Just when you think you’ve seen it all.
The next day we decided to head in to Florence. A fifty minute bus ride later and we were in the centre. So many people had spoken about the place and how beautiful it was. Having recently visited Verona and Venice we were looking forward to seeing what Florence had to offer. With numerous museums and galleries full of paintings and sculptures by the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Donatello to name a few, it’s a place for cultured folk.
Heathans that we are, the combination of the entry fees and ridiculous queues meant that we only saw what was on the outside. With buildings such as the Duormo to see, our eyes had their fair share of sights. Ironically, we enjoyed the centrale market the most. The bottom floor is a traditional food market with upstairs a vast food hall rammed with restaurants selling everything from Sandwiches and Sushi to T bone steaks, something for everyone’s palate.
We had a good walk around Florence taking in the famous sights whilst clocking up another 8 miles. Florence was nice but it hasn’t been our favourite place to visit, with Verona and Venice definately more easily accessible for tight gits like us on a travelling budget.
That’s not to say that we didn’t enjoy our day. Although, we’d have equally enjoyed sitting upstairs in the food market drinking craft beer and wine all afternoon, whilst eyeballing the food being served. Says it all really!