I have always been a traveller.  Its in my bones and in my heart.  Nothing gives me greater joy than learning and sampling new and different cultures.  This was my first trip to Italy and – WOW !

We flew via Dubai to Milano.  Taxi to cenral station and then hi-speed train to Firenze.  Below is Milano Centrale.  Spending time there was never a problem .  I loved being in the station.  The incredibly beautiful and ancient architecture aside – the efficiency, the buzz, the different types of trains, the smells of coffee – everything – right down to the beautiful floors – filled my senses with such pleasure.

About Firenze – the beautiful ancient city of Florence.   Capital city of the Tuscany region and centre of Italian Renaissance.   A city so full of ancient history and architecture – its really hard to use English words to describe (so have made a pact with myself to learn Italian someday).  I walked around with my mouth hanging open and my viewfinder glued to my eye.  Became a problem because I never really knew where I lived and had to rely on the others to get back to the apartment every time.

Our apartment was right in the centre of the old part of the town, just a block or so up from the Arno River.  We walked – EVERYWHERE!  The Duomo, The Church of Santa Croce, across the Arno, over the Ponte Vecchio and up to the Boboli Gardens.

Leaning out of our apartment windows we could almost touch the ancient stone of the buildings across the road from us.  As I lay on my bed thinking about the day, the sounds of the city floated in and out of my consciousness.  Someone was practicing the piano down the road – great concertos in the style of the old masters.  In a crevice of the church next door – a little pigeon sat and peaked out watching the goings on in the street below.

My favourite was the markets.  So much choice!  You don’t find two or three types of tomoatoes but seven or eight.  Then the mushrooms – huge and impressive toadstool-type fungi to little tiny heads on stalks.  The colours and smells and characters!  I couldn’t get enough.


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