Saturday, April 4, 2009

Florence by Bike

Daddy M, we got the package. Your timing is perfect and you know me too well. I love you!!! We've been very selective in our sharing of the Cadbury minis. Everyone loved the declaration on the outside of the box: "candy". And your handmade card was gorgeous! You're getting crafty...Bethy must be proud. Thank you!

So, yesterday Penn, Allyson, Riel and I did a day trip to Florence. Because the school-sponsored trips have been so jam-packed with culture and religion and literally running around the city, we made only two plans for this trip: shopping and renting bikes. We didn't set a schedule or hurry anywhere. We started with the shopping and found a few things to satisfy that urge (including several 1 Euro leather strap bracelets so that we could say that we bought SOMETHING leather in Florence). Then we had a lovely meal at a trattoria near the duomo: fixed, two course menu for only 9.30 Euros! Plus some good wine and people-watching. From there, we made our way to the bike shop I had googled via the market streets. We rented 4 "city bikes" and decided to take the advice of the bike shop lady and go up to the Piazza del Michaelangelo, though we knew we'd never make it all the way up with the bikes. We took the entirely convenient bike lane all the way around the city and to the river. We rode along it for a while, crossing just before the Ponte Vecchio and winding our way up to the piazza. There were lots of people there speaking all different languages and enjoying the view of another fabulously ancient city. After a long rest and a bottle of water (the weather was about 70 in the sun and breezy and perfect), we rode over Ponte Vecchio and did a little more market shopping. We returned the bikes after about a 2 hour head-clearing tour around that lovely city. I would recommend that rental place to anyone and everyone who visits Florence. We got around so quickly and got exercise in the process and it was only 6 Euros each for those 2 hours (or 8 Euros for 5 hours)! It's called "Florence by Bike" and it's got a great reputation around the city, which was apparent immediately.

We took the train back to Orvieto at 7:13, which meant that we were there for over 9 hours. Time flew by and it was a great day trip. We've got to do that more often...

I feel the need to mention that, though I am posting all the pictures on my facebook page, Penn takes about 40 or 50% of them. I cannot take credit for them all! We've got similar style, and often one of us will be behind the camera and the other one giving positioning instructions. We're a good tourist team. Though, I have been learning a lot about the camera here, which was one thing on my To Do in Italy list.

We're thinking about Croatia for one of our free weekends or for a chunk of our post-semester traveling. Suggestions are welcome!


  1. all balances out perfectly.

  2. ...just don't stop moving or 'eating' turns into 'blimping.'

    Suggestions for Croatia? Rovinj! A beautiful town made entirely out of limestone on a hill sticking out into the Adriatic... even the cobblestones are limestone and have been worn buttery-smooth like vanilla taffy... the town absolutely glows in the sun. We rented boats and Penn can show you the spot where they found a private island full of "Nudists-who-shouldn't-be-nude."