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Walking in Tuscany + guide report + ATM

We spent over three weeks in Tuscany in late February-early March this year. The first two weeks were spent in an apartment near the Palazo Pitti.- - near Santo Spirito Church. Great neighborhood for walking. One of our favorites was the walk from San Nicolo up through the back roads and lanes to San Miniato - a beautiful small and very old church where you can stop in and listen to vespers and then out to watch the sun set. Most tourists go to Piazale Michelangelo. Read A Florentine Death before going - or during your trip.
We bought the Uffizi Amici card. Cost us 100 euros for the two of us. Good for a year and unlimited entry to all the state museums. Very convenient. Probably wasn't a deal, but we liked its convenience. Most of our Florence walking was to museums and gardens. Wasn't prepared to become such a fan of frescos and Della Robbia - but there you have it. Who knew.

We visited Assisi and Sienna for a couple days each. Beautiful walks in both places. In Sienna we walked to the fort near the bus station, visited a farmers market and then down through the incredible sights of the churches. In Assisi, wandering anywhere is good, but twisting up and beyond to the edges of the center was special -
Then met up with a guide - Marco Valtriano of Marco met us in Arrezo and took us to our hotel in Subbiano. What a memorable part of the trip! We cruised through the countryside, did some hiking in lovely spots, looked at birds (he is a bird guide as well). Very relaxing. Very special. A picnic on a ridge between Umbria and Tuscany - above Cortona. Birding at a refuge north of Orvieto. A country hike on a "white road" undulating through green farmland - seeing farmers trimming their olive trees. Marco would say - I know my chickens - having figured out what we would like - because sometimes you have to stumble into happiness, right.

We did our touring from Subbiano the two days we were with him. (He does tours in other areas too. I would like to do the Maremma next.)

(We had a favorite ATM near the Four Seasons which gave better rates. We got ripped off on an ATM in the center. Still trying to fix that. Advice: if the machine says you have no money in your account, they are taking that moment to steal from your account. If the machine asks if the rate is acceptable, it probably isn't. If the machine just gives you what you asked for, that's good. ))

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