Since everyone was helpful in my planning for my trip, I thought I would give a report now that I am back.
September 3, 2022
- Arrived in Venice. Took carryon only and was very quickly out if the airport.
-Bus to Santa Lucia Station. I had pre purchased a ticket so didn’t have to stand in line. No issues finding the bus and was able to board one straight away. Very short trip to Piazzale Roma. I had two hours to kill while waiting for my train. Rather than sit in the station, I walked around Venice and was great full only to have the carry on bag. It was very hot and sunny.
- Train to Florence. I had prepurchased my ticket with Italo to take advantage of the lower prices. As my flight was on time, I had no issues with this. Trip was pleasant a just over 2 hours.
Stayed until September 9, 2022.
Hotel - Globus Urban Hotel. This is a reasonably priced, well located, modern hotel. Fully air conditioned with an elevator. I requested a bottle of wine from Tuscany to be placed in the room and that was there on my arrival. Staff were wonderful and breakfast had a good selection of hot and cold items. The night before checkout, a thank you note with cantucci were in a little bag on my door.
Leather Jackets - bought from Leonardo DaVinci Factory. I had a really helpful salesperson who was willing to negotiate.
Leather belts - bought from Papini. The belt I bought myself was custom fitted to my size and the other was nicely gift wrapped.
Favourite Restaurant- Osteria Pastella. I had the truffle pasta made in the cheese wheel at my table. The owner was so nice and the meal was just fabulous. Close second was Osteria Vecchio Vicolo.
Favourite Gelato Shop - Fontana’s. It had the best salted caramel I have ever tasted and the shop was beautifully appointed.
Attractions I visited:
Santa Croce Church - Pre purchased entry - Michelangelo’s tomb is beautiful.
Piazzale Michelangelo - free and awesome panoramic views
Ponte Vecchio - free. Did buy a beautiful necklace based on the rose window at the cathedral in Assisi from Humilis.
Baptistery and Giotto’s Bell Tower - prepurschased Giotto pass - there are several levels to the tower, so you don’t climb all at once.
Ognissanti Church - free and beautiful. Botticelli is buried here.
Uffizi- pre purchased ticked for 8:15 AM. Not too crowded at that time. Bought passepartout pass.
Pitti Palace - part of passepartout pass - magnificent
Boboli Gardens - part of passepartout pass. I was disappointed if I’m honest.
Tower at the Palazzo Vecchio - ticket bought on day. Must go with an employee, so only offered at specific times. Ticket to museum is separate. One of the more expensive places to visit IMO.
Dante’s Church - loved the simplicity of this church. Free
Dante’s House Museum - not free and disappointing although they’ve done the best they can considering nothing has survived of Dante’s.
Babae wine window- free, but part of the experience is to order a wine, which is not free.
Medici Chapel - beautiful, purchased ticket on the day
San Lorenzo Cathedral - purchased ticket on the day
Santa Maria Novella Church - purchased ticket on the day
September 9, 2022
Train to Venice - prepurchased with Trenitalia to take advantage of cheaper ticket. Mild panic as there was a train strike this day I had no knowledge until the hotel mentioned it at checkout. Luckily, my train was not one of the many that were cancelled.
Arrived late afternoon.
Hotel - Hotel Serenissima. Turns out this is a hotel Rick Steves uses a f there was BOI group there. I chose it due to inexpensive price and for the fact it is well located. No elevator. Air conditioning not powerful and they shut it off without your permission. It was hot in Venice so did not