Half of our Great Florence Mugello holiday is over.
We leave Florence by cab for a very short ride to the train station square. Here M&T ‘s driver Sergio is waiting for us with an all Italian Fiat Scudo van. We had a great time in Florence really. We were lucky Carmen @ Mugello&Tuscany found us a last minute accommodation in a lovely B&B next to the Cathedral and just metres away from piazza Signoria and Ponte Vecchio.
Most striking feature a great view on Brunelleschi’s marvel dome. At the peak of the season in Florence in August it’s almost impossible to find a decent accommodation. This year with all the fears spread around for terrorist attacks, the Italians too, seem to have shunned foreign destinations. Florence being one of the favourite choices for a home holiday.
The M&T’s bespoke brochure “Firenze like a local” which Carmen provided us with, was really useful. So after some squeamish reluctance we even tried the street food mentioned in the brochure and in the very best places really like a local.The most typical being trippa and Lampredotto. Lampredotto and trippa are but two of the four stomachs of the cow but I’m not going to get into that. Trippa alla Fiorentina is best tasted at a trattoria as a dish per sé. Lampredotto on the contrary seems to ooze its best when sampled in a soft round panino at one of the best mobile kiosks scattered around the city.
One of our favourite venues was Boboli Gardens. More than a garden, more than just a “green lung” in Florence, the Boboli gardens are one of the greatest open-air museums in Florence that embraces another site of culture in Florence, the Pitti Palace. The park hosts centuries-old oak trees, sculptures, fountains and offers peaceful shelter from the warm Florentine sun in summer, the beautiful colors of the changing foliage in the fall and smells of blooming flowers in the spring. The Boboli gardens are a spectacular example of “green architecture” decorated with sculptures and the prototype which inspired many European Royal gardens, in particular, Versailles.
We went to Boboli once by day and once in the evening to see a wonderful open air performance of the ballet The swans’ Lake. Simply superb and the right meddley of art, culture and nature which is like saying sheer beauty. Sheer beauty and fun is also our final overall judgement on the the Great Florence Mugello Holiday
I am more of an active holiday person while my wife Laura loves more indulging in art and culture. Florence Mugello holiday was the ideal combination for both, Personally Boboli allowed me to express my quintessential naturalistic nature even in a city. Laura was over the top for all the Medieval and Renaissance treasures which Florence has to show.
Personally apart from the classic Uffizi and Accademia museums I really appreciated the new Opera del Duomo museum. The ticket admits the holder to all the monuments in the Complex of Santa Maria del Fiore. They are: Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, Baptistry, Crypt of Santa Reparata inside Florence Cathedral, and the new Museum . The interesting thing is that the visits can be done on more days . This really adds to the great Florence Mugello holiday as you can take it easy and watch things at your own pace.
So off we go on the boulevards. We dribe past Piazza libertà and Piazza delle Cure. Then we head to Fiesole which we hadn’t seen because it was included in the M6T package. We discover Sergio is also a tourist escort licended by the Regione Toscana. Fiesole has Etruscan origins. It was inhabited by civilized people at least 6 centuries before Florence was founded by the Romans. We go up the ascent to the church of St Fancis where you have a wonderful view of Florence. Then walk back from the other side. We can thus admire the roman theatre from the outside and the cyclopic etruscan walls of the 5th century BC. Short stop at the cathedral which is a bishop see like Florence. Then off we go again and enter the Mugello in the commune of Borgo San Lorenzo.