Posted by: forgingahead | July 11, 2016

Italy July 6-11 2016

So hot. Day 6 was spent avoiding heat exhaustion. I did finally have a spritz cocktail and am now officially a fan. 

Day 7 we discovered the second floor of Mercato Centrale! A gourmet food court with nice service friendly staff and fabulous food. Plus places to sit and decent AC. We did have a classic Nerbone steak sandwich downstairs first but upstairs is much more my jam.

After enjoying lattes and pastries and making a plan for our return the next day we headed out to find the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, one of the oldest pharmacies in the world – founded by Dominican friars in 1221. It’s a beautiful space that smells magical and feels peaceful. Highly recommend.

We finished day 7 of our adventure with a walking tour called Dark Heart of Florence through City Wonders. It was fun and we learned lots about the Medicis and medieval Florence.
We began day 8 with an art exhibit in a palace. A lot of the art from Peggy Guggenheim’s Venice collection was on loan to Florence and combined with works from the NY Guggenheim. It was a great exhibit…

My other highlight of the day was discovering this beautiful venue La Menagere which also had the most magical spritz so far…

Day 9 we turned in the keys for our beautiful Florence flat, rented a car and drove to Siena. Google maps has made driving in foreign lands ridiculously easy. We had a rocky start to our stay in Siena so no pretty pics to share. Let’s just all agree that travel days are hard. Here’s a pic of the Florence Duomo taken on our early morning walk before leaving the city…

Day 10 was much better. Took in the beauty of Siena in the cool early morning hours. Did some shopping and ate some good food. 

Day 11 we ventured out to San Gimignano early in the morning and enjoyed wandering the winding streets free of those pesky tourists and blazing sun. Lots of cats around and of course stunning views of the Tuscan countryside…

We had a lovely chat with Patrizia Piciacchi a ceramic artist. She and her husband both create art and they are big time animal lovers: 17 cats (one is 22 years old!), 2 dogs, 2 horses, 2 chickens 🙂

And that my friends concludes days 6-11 of the Italy 2016 adventure. Gripping stuff.



  1. Loving the pics and commentary. Hope it is cooler in Rome!

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