Italy Trip Report: Part III

Florence, Tuscan Hill Towns, Venice

Author: The Traveling Professor/Wednesday, November 5, 2014/Categories: Italy

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On our tour to Italy, we finished up in Rome and arrived in Florence via high-speed train.    I always enjoy dinner at Trattoria ZaZa and it was still warm enough (with the help of some heaters) to dine al fresco.   In Florence we visited the major sites like the Accademia and the Uffizi, but I would have to say the highlight of our tour in Florence was the visit to two local artisans.   Because of our small group size and the personal relationships we have developed over the years in leading our tours to Italy, we were able to visit Lastrucci Mosaics to get a personal and private demonstration of how the artisans practice this dying art.   We also walked across the Arno to visit Guiliano, a master metal artisan, to witness these art that is not likely to pass down another generation.

We took a day out of our busy schedule in Florence to go on a private wine tour and visit to two Tuscan hill towns.  I think the impression by our travelers that this was a welcome tour to see the Italian countryside and get away from the big cities.   It certainly was pleasant to stroll the streets, have a cafe, and see what's going on in the small towns of Monteriggioni and Castellina.  We also visited a winery to taste the "Super Tuscan" wines, some of them only found in Italy.

The last few days of the tour involved taking a high-speed train to Venice.  Venice really is a fascinating city:  there are no cars, only narrow streets, and canals wind their way through the Old World city.  I am sure it was a great way to end a tour to Italy that started in southern Italy and ended in the north.

For more information about my tours to Italy, see my website, www.travelingprofessor.com


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