EU Trip - Florence ⇒

August 18th, 2019 by with tag travel


We left Veigy-Foncenex the morning of the 14th and stopped twice on our way to Florence, in Fenis, to visit the castle and Genoa, for gelato, of course.

Fenis Castle

During the trip, we went through the “castle region”, so we played spot the castle…Christine has a neat series of photos of all the castles we spotted from the car.

On the way to one of the most famous castles, Fénis Castle, we went under Mont Blanc. Only 50€ for the privelege!

At Fenis, we took a quick tour (in Italian so I can't tell you much about it). I can’t imagine how it was to live in a drafty, wet place like that.


Genoa began our Quest for the Perfect Gelato. We walked around the old part of the city to find good gelato…we were so naïve then and had no clue what "good" gelato was.


As Florence is one of those no-driving-or-parking-allowed cities, we decided to stay just out of town, right on the tram line, in Scandicci. Met our AirBnB host and made our way to the local pizza joint for dinner.

Day 1

We’ve been trying to break up the walking and driving days, so our first day there was wandering around the old part of town, taking in the amazing sites, like the Duomo and the statue of David (the replica). We also determined that in order to fully appreciate all that gelato, we needed to have 2 gelato days. We also discovered that each gelato can have 2 scoops! What a great day.

Day 2

Day 2 was the amazing walled town of Sam Gimignano where we started the started the tradition of climbing every tower we find.

While the torture museum was quite disturbing (those medievals were quite creative with punishment), the real reason we went there was their world championship gelato; it was as spectacular as the view from the tower.

Day 3

A busy day, that started with visiting the Cupola del Brunelleschi, which is the dome & tower on the Duomo di Firenze. We had read that you had to have your legs covered, so we went in pants and sweated our way to the top. Naturally, that wasn’t the requirement and many folks were in shorts. Sigh. This climb is quite steep and long (436 steps) and extremely narrow. Several times I felt claustrophobic as much of the way it was a single track and we got trapped, unable to go up or down. However, the view from the top made it all worth while.

Next up was the Leonardo da Vinci museum. Turns out he was quite the clever person…invented pretty much everything. The staff at the museum had made the contraptions based on the drawings in his journals; amazing to see how “modern” everything looked.

Lastly, we went on a Pizza & Gelato cooking course, which was super fun. We learned what “real” Neapolitan pizza is (floppy crust, only tomato sauce, very few toppings) as well as true gelato (no fruit…that’s sorbet). You can tell good gelato if it’s in a covered tin and the colours are not bright. Most of the gelato is open and brightly coloured so you have to work to find the good stuff.

In the 4 days we were in Italy we had 17 different gelato flavours!

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