Tuscany & Venice

Monday 17 January 2011
These photos of Tuscany were taken more than a year ago on our last trip to Italy. Every now and then, I'd flick through the photos again to remind myself of what a spectacular place it is.  We traveled with wonderful friends who were so good with Little L. We had unbelievable food, saw awe-inspiring landscapes and met the most atrocious drivers in the world.

Each time I visit Florence, I make a point to eat at Trattoria Gozzi at Piazza San Lorenzo, 8r, Florence, 50123. It's always packed with locals by lunchtime so try to get there early if you plan to get a seat. They're only open for lunch during the weekdays. I had some of my best and cheapest meals there.  The signboard is nondescript and can be a little hard to find but ask anyone at the market and they'll pinpoint you to the right direction. Another place I paid more than a couple of visits was Osteria I Brincello at Via Nazionale 110 r, 50100 Florence. The food is hearty peasant style but cooked to perfection and very reasonably priced.

Although I've stayed in my fair share of good and bad hotels, I tend to gear towards the unconventional. Give me a domatia, pension or convent anyday. In Florence, we stayed at Casa Santo Nome di Gesù Firenze, a convent right in town. The nuns are delightful to talk to. Don't be put off by some of nuns' gruff exterior because behind all that bluster, lie a heart of gold. Prices for a double start at a very reasonable 60€. 










Volterra. For those of you who are fans of the Twilight Saga, the Volturri is based loosely on Volterra. However, segments of the film were shot at Montepulciano. By the time we got to Volterra, we only had 2 hours to have a look around. 



siena copy


siena5 copy


Heath Ledger

This was taken approximately 7-8 years ago in Venice. At the time, almost two thirds of Piazza San Marco was cordoned off for the filming of Cassanova which meant tens of thousands of tourists were squished into a tiny corner of the square. To make matters worse, the afternoon high tide flooded the entire Piazza so everyone was walking around with wet pants. We had no idea who these actors were nor the movie they were shooting. The security guards glared at me thinking I was a pesky paparazzo. It wasn't till months later, I figured out that the actor was Heath Ledger and the lady standing next to him (not pictured) was Sienna Miller.



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