Italy Part Four: Milan Days 2 & 3

Saturday 11th – Sunday 12th November 2017

The day started with toast. But not just any toast. Fancy Toast. This wasn’t just us getting creative with bread, it was a cafe round the corner.

Continue reading “Italy Part Four: Milan Days 2 & 3”

Italy Part Three: Milan Day 1

Friday 10th November 2017

The next morning I had to leave The Boy and be up and out to catch a train to the airport for my flight to Milan. I threw some leftover bread, cheese and meat into a bag for breakfast and hot-footed it to the main train station. This time I did not go the wrong way and made it there relatively quickly. I felt bad about how needlessly far I’d dragged the Boy thanks to my inability to use Citymapper.

Continue reading “Italy Part Three: Milan Day 1”

Italy Part Two: Rome Day 2

Thursday 9th November 2017

Since the day before had not gone quite to plan, we decided that the next one had to be more productive: we’d been having a good time but we’d slacked and we had one day left in Rome to fit in quite a bit. We still managed to snooze our alarm longer than intended. It was inevitable.

Continue reading “Italy Part Two: Rome Day 2”

Italy Part One: Rome Day 1

Wednesday 8th November 2017

Back in my younger days, I didn’t mind holidays that involved an early start. In fact, I found getting up at the crack of dawn and bundled into the back of my parents’ car and plied with sweets and other treats to keep me and my brothers behaved as we headed to the Eurotunnel and into France (our usual family holiday routine) quite exciting. Nowadays the dream for me is to get up at a civilised time, have some breakfast and a nice cup of tea and saunter casually to the airport. With that in mind I was less than impressed when the Boy’s alarm went off at 3am to try and encourage us to get out of bed and on the road to Gatwick for our 6.45am flight. I maintain we could have had at least another 15 minutes alarm free but I kept that to myself.

Continue reading “Italy Part One: Rome Day 1”

Tuscany Part Six: Tuscan Towns and a Leaning Tower

13th – 19th August 2016

My last post may have made it sound like I didn’t leave the hotel for a week (except for food). That’s not really that far off but it’s not entirely true. We had a whole two day trips. Okay, perhaps they were more like afternoon trips – we still needed a minimum daily quota of pool time after all.

Continue reading “Tuscany Part Six: Tuscan Towns and a Leaning Tower”

Tuscany Part Five: a week in Monsummano Terme

13th – 19th August 2016

The next week of my Tuscan trip passed way too quick in a blur of outings to nearby towns, tasty meals and a whole lotta pool time at the Grotta Giusti. I had planned to swim everyday and use the hotel gym but as it turned out I didn’t enter the gym once (obviously) and only managed to swim three times. My sunlounger was just so comfy. I did make it into the pool on more occasions but only really to cool down in breaks from sunbathing. My dedication to lying in the sun did pay off however as, very unusually for me, I managed to get a proper tan – and it was almost completely real (full disclosure: my aftersun has a bit of fake tan in it).

Continue reading “Tuscany Part Five: a week in Monsummano Terme”

Tuscany Part Four: Florence (Bargello and Santa Maria Novella) and into the Tuscan Hills

12th August 2016

Friday brought with it my last morning in Florence. Since my to do list was still nowhere near done, I was up and out before the rest of my family were awake. I had a quick breakfast on my hotel’s terrace (stocking up on as much of that smoked bacon and scrambled eggs as I could) and headed over to the Bargello museum – close to the Palazzo Vecchio – so I arrived just after it opened at 8.15am. This was very early for me but it turned out to be an excellent time for sightseeing. The city was relatively free of tourists and the museum only had a few other visitors.

Continue reading “Tuscany Part Four: Florence (Bargello and Santa Maria Novella) and into the Tuscan Hills”

Tuscany Part Three: Florence (Galleria dell’Accademia, Ponte Vecchio and Duomo)

11th August 2016

My second morning in Florence began a little slower. Instead of splitting up first thing, the five of us were all going to head to the Duomo – Florence’s elaborate cathedral. You had to get tickets to go up to the top (which I would have done if I hadn’t already found excellent views from the Palazzo Vecchio) or into the museum or the Baptistery of St John but we just wanted to head into the church itself, which was free. We aimed to get there when it opened at 10am but we arrived after a lovely breakfast on our hotel’s roof terrace (smokey bacon and scrambled eggs, pastries and fruit – yum) to find queues upon queues stretched out before us. A nearby tour guide told us it would be hours before we got in. Admittedly, he probably just wanted us to sign up for his tour but having seen the amount of people waiting, he can’t have been far off.

Continue reading “Tuscany Part Three: Florence (Galleria dell’Accademia, Ponte Vecchio and Duomo)”

Tuscany Part Two: Florence (Firenze Cards, Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio)

10th August 2016

Having been desperate to go to Florence for years – and since I only had three days to see everything (actually only two and half days to be more precise) – I needed to use my time efficiently. So I drew up a list of all the artworks I wanted to see and where I could find them but, when the realisation came that there was no way I could see them all, I had to narrow them down.

Continue reading “Tuscany Part Two: Florence (Firenze Cards, Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio)”

Tuscany Part One: arriving in Florence

9th August 2016

This year my family decided to go on our first family holiday altogether in seven years. When the idea of Italy came up I – probably not so subtly – suggested Florence. I’ve wanted to go since the age of 17 when I studied art history at school and the majority of stuff we looked at seemed to be there. I’m now 24 (or at least I was when I was there – hello quarter of a century) and I can now say that I finally made it. We spent the first three days of our trip there before we moved onto a town in the Tuscan hills.

Continue reading “Tuscany Part One: arriving in Florence”