Pisa – Fourth Time is the Charm! – Day 1 – Part 2

One of the sights that I most look forward to, whenever I visit Pisa, is La Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina, or the Church of Santa Maria della Spina.  This jewel-box-like structure has enchanted me for years, but I’ve ever only seen it from the outside.  It was always closed, when I tried to…

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Pisa – Fourth Time is the Charm! – Day 1 – Part 1

This was my fourth visit to the lovely city of Pisa.  Now, I know that there are some people out there who would think: Why return so often?  The reason is that this is a city filled with treasures!  There are museums, churches, lovely neighborhoods to stroll around, parks, all possible to visit on foot,…

Florence – The Birthplace of the Renaissance – Day 3 – Part 4

We became fans of a television show, on Netflix, called “Somebody Feed Phil.”  On one of the episodes, which focused on Florence, they spotlighted the Vivoli Gelateria.  The gelato looked so good, when we saw the episode, that we made a point of hunting the place out.  It was fairly easy to find, located only…

Florence – The Birthplace of the Renaissance – Day 3 – Part 3

You next make your way to the hall that is dominated by the large statue at the far end, Michelangelo’s masterpiece, “David.”  As you walk towards one of the world’s most famous statues, you may not realize it, but you are passing by some of the master’s other famous works, his Slaves.   These are a…

Florence – The Birthplace of the Renaissance – Day 3 – Part 2

Florence, like most Italian cities and towns, is a wonderful mix of old and new.  Creativity and art surround you as you walk the city’s streets.  The shopping isn’t bad either! We passed a poster advertising “The Florence Experiment” — a temporary exhibit in the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi.  We peeked into the courtyard, just…

Florence – The Birthplace of the Renaissance – Day 3 – Part 1

Our third day in Florence, or Firenze, began as a wet one.  That didn’t stop me from getting outside and exploring! A plaque on a wall commemorates the building where Saint Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi lived and died. Saint Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi lived in the monastery of the Chiesa di San Frediano in Cestello….

Florence – The Birthplace of the Renaissance – Day 2 – Part 1

To me, the city of Florence is like a ornately set piece of jewelry: It is beautiful, delicate, and perfect in its arrangement.  Walking the streets of this city can be a transporting experience, sending one back to the times of the Renaissance, for this is the city that gave birth to that most glorious…

Florence – The Birthplace of the Renaissance – Day 1 – Part 2

Window shopping in Florence can be an artistically educating experience, particularly in the Oltrarno neighborhood. A plaque on a wall pays tribute to the birthplace of famous Italian lawyer and politician, Giuseppe Mantellini. In Piazza San Felice, a small triangular space just past the Palazzo Pitti, you will find La Colonna di Cosimo I, or…

A Quick Stop in Rome!

We were planning on spending time in Rome at the end of our trip, as usual, but since we needed to catch the train for our next destination at Rome’s Termini Station, we decided to spend one night there in the middle of the trip, and while we were there, catch the last performance of…