Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hotel Casci, Florence, Italy

After another "exciting" drive through Florence (we saw 3 wrecks on the way), we arrived at Hotel Casci. When I asked about what to do with the car, they said we had 2 choices: 1) drive across the Arno and park in public parking or 2) they would valet park it for me. I literally threw the keys at them.

Hotel Casci is so centrally located. It's 2 minutes from the Duomo and Galleria dell'Accademia (where Michelangelo's statue of David is). The Ponte Vecchio bridge is just a little further walk.

Their web site is here and the TripAdvisor article is here.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Porta Pinciana, Rome, Italy

Leaving Rome, we rented a car and headed out to Florence. As we drove out, we went through Porta Pinciana, a gate of the Aurelian Walls.

Driving in Rome was "exciting." As we approached Porta Pinciana we observed a near miss (millimeters, not inches) between a bus and a scooter. In the effort to avoid the bus, the scooter almost ran over an elderly lady walking on the side of the street. She never flinched!

The wikipedia article is here and an interesting web page is here.

Be sure to look at the street view.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy

One of my co-workers whose wife owns a travel agency suggested that we visit Piazza Navona while in Rome. I was glad I asked for his advice.

The piazza is small giving a very intimate feel. The Fountain of the Four Rivers stands in the center of it surrounded by street performers at night. Across one side is a strip of restaurants and, yes, they also serve gelato.

Here's the street view.

As we left, we took a taxi. Unlike the other traffic, our taxi driver was stopping at every red light. I asked him why, joking that he just wanted to make the meter run. He said that he wouldn't stop if I'd pay his fine. I laughed and said I would. He proceeded to run every red light all the way back to the hotel.

The wikipedia article is here.

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

St. Peter in Chains Basilica, Rome, Italy

As we walked to the Colosseum, we went past St. Peter in Chains Basilica. The was a mass going on so we sat out front and had gelato before going on to the Colosseum.

On our return, we came back by St. Peter in Chains. It was well worth it.

The legend is that the chains that bound Saint Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem are held here. The chains are kept under the main altar in the basilica. There's also a statue of Moses by Michelangelo.

Here is my photo of the ceiling.

The wikipedia article is here.

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