Firenze is a beautiful city with plenty to do, though something about the thronging tourist groups caused us to remain somewhat aloof. Also, the Tuscan weather really showed us what it was capable of. Firenze is a bustling city with a ton of history packed in it. There are art galleries (Uffizi and the Accadamia), historical sites (Dante’s house, Basillica of Santa Croce, etc..), and grand edifices (Duomo & Cupola and Palazzo Pitti). There is also a pretty significant shopping presence, most notably the outdoor stalls but also with the stores in the buildings along the roads as well. Most of this is aimed at the tourists from out of town, and most of the contents of the stalls are identical (having come from the same sources). However the leather and ceramic dishware in this region are rather special.

Late in the afternoon the not-so-hot spring heat managed to churn up quite an impressive thunderstorm and downpour.

There are many rather small towns liberally sprinkled throughout the Tuscan hills. Once you arrive at one it is easy to get caught up in the trap of thinking “well, the next one is only another 20 minutes this way, we should go ahead and go there as well.” Before you know it you’ve traveled hundreds of kilometers and you’ve spent the whole day hopping from one tiny little town to the next. San Gimignano is one of the more well-known of these types of towns, but really all have very similar things to offer. However in San Gimignano you can find a particularly high-quality gelato, the quality lives up to the advertising truly.

But now it is time to bid farewell to Tuscany and head north, the area I am much more familiar with. Ciao Toscana, Emilia-Romagna vengo subito!