Above: Florence at sunset photographed from the steps of the Piazzale Michelangelo.
Andiamo! (Let's Go!)
"We are just soaking in the history, the art and the architecture. Such a rich tapestry that informs so much of our lives today."
- Trainer Travel Journal, Kristi
Tour Day 4 | Wonders of Renaissance Florence
TRAINER TRAVEL TIPS | food
Rainer encouraged us to travel with all our senses, especially our stomachs! Don't be afraid to try new local delicacies. It's fun to take a risk and play menu roulette. You might just find a new favorite as our adventurous Meg did (see below)!
Shopping at local markets is a joy akin to spending the morning at the playground! Don't forget to pack a collapsable shopping bag to hold your picnic loot. We found that one with straps big enough to loop over your shoulder makes toting supplies until meal-time a breeze while keeping hands free for other activities - like snapping photos.
Speaking of picnics, may we also suggest tucking a corkscrew into your checked luggage? If you plan to carry-on your bags, then by all means make a beeline to a grocery store and pick up an inexpensive opener A.S.A.P. upon arrival!
HALT! When any one is feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired conditions are prime for a melt-down. That's the perfect time for a sit-down, a cafe or bistro stop, or a snack from the emergency supply.
Tour Day 5 |The Backstreets of Florence
- Meet our fabulous Florentine local guide, Tonia, who helps us explore the 14th century Palazzo Davanzati and discover Renaissance Florence. We then cross to the Oltrarno where we admire street art, learn how to order espresso like locals, and see Michelangelo's first sculpture in the Santo Spirito Church.
- Hungry after a morning of walking, we have the pleasure of preparing a veritable feast--a 4-course Italian lunch at Tavola Cooking School.
- Feeling "fat and happy", our family enjoys a free afternoon wandering the Pitti Palace.
- Evening on our own. We feel victorious and proud having successfully navigated our first supermarket where we purchase an assortment of cured local meats, cheese, wine, bread, fruit and Italian cookies for dinner. We savor the food, the sunset and our teens on the steps of Piazzale Michelangelo.
Tour Day 6| The Uffizi & David (and Micah turns 14!)
- We again meet our local guide, Tonia, for an adept personal spin through the Uffizi Gallery.
- Cool off with a late morning Birthday Gelato en route to Leather Shopping at Via di Ginori 23r.
- Eat hand-tossed Brithday pizzas at Mercato Centrale (pizza Margherita, Micah's second Italian food staple).
- Birthday boy picks! So during our free afternoon we visit the Leonardo diVinici Museum.
- Emergency sun-dress shop for Meg.
- Regroup with the tour and spend some alone-time with Michelangelo's sublime Prisoners in Stone & David at the Accademia.
- Celebrate Micah Trainer's 14th Birthday dinner at Trattoria ZaZa
Thorns & Roses, July 1, 2015
Micah's Bud: "Today's my 14th birthday, so my bud is turning 15. It's a long-term bud!"
Kristi's Rose(s): "Having Tonia enliven the art of the Uffizi; getting a dreamy Florentine leather handbag in a blue color that reminds me of the Italian sky at Via di Ginori 23r and meeting the owner. Seeing the awesome and formidable David which brought chills to my arms and tears to my eyes. Celebrating my boy turning 14!"
Meghan's Thorn: "Having to stop and buy sundresses at H&M in the horrid heat and demented crowds."
Kristi's Thorn: "I wished we would have pre-booked tickets to the Borghese Gallery. So hard to know we're going to be so close, and yet so far from such incredible sculpture."