Postcards From An Italian Adventure – Amanda and Me

Author: , July 26th, 2010

Gay Friendly Tuscany Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on an extended adventure in Italy. She has graciously agreed to let us republish her travel logs. Enjoy!

Florence view

Tuesday, July 6th

Amanda in FlorenceI am happy to have another duckling, since all my others flew home. Amanda is a delightful young lady from La Paz, Mexico. She just graduated from high school, and came over to Florence to take some summer classes. Her parents and her brother will arrive soon, but in the meantime, she and I are having some fun.

Since she is in school until 5:00 pm every day, she had not gotten to see much of Florence. We took an evening walk one day, but on the week end, I became her travel guide. I took her across Ponte Vecchio on Saturday, wwandered around the Oltrano area for awhile, had lunch near San Spirito church, then back across the river, to the San Lorenzo street market. We stopped briefly at our apartment, then caught the bus to Fiesole, where she could look down on our “bella citta”, Firenze.

Firenze, ItaliaAmanda is taking film studies classes, so she wanted to get some pictures, and that she did. We had a cool drink in Fiesole, then we caught the bus back home.

After we had a few hours to rest, we went out again, this time to dinner in Piazza Signoria. We were seated at an outdoor cafe, so she was able to do some people watching. After dinner, we heard music, so we followed the sound to Piazza Repubblica, where we also were entertained by a Charlie Chaplin look-alike, who really was pretty funny with his routine. We just had to have a gelato, then slowly made our way home.

The next morning, we walked up to Piazzale Michelangelo, up to San Miniato church, then down the hill again, to Santa Croce, stopped at a grocery store, then headed home.

The weather is quite warm and humid, so we called it a day, after that. We had a lot of fun, but we were both ready for a siesta.

Enoteca in Florence, ItalyLater, I took off by myself, stopped at a wine bar that Massimo had told me about, but I had not been there yet. It is an amazing place, called the Enoteca Intelligente. It is a wine tasting bar. One buys a card, for whatever denomination you want (similar to buying a Starbuck’s card). The bar had 64 wines available for tasting, each wine is priced differently, according to the value of the wine.

The card is inserted into a slot, one grabs a wine glass, places it under the appropriate spigot, then press a button for a taste, or half a glass, or a full measure. The price of what was purchased is deducted from the card.

Enoteca Intelligente, Florence, ItalyWhen the card gets close to being depleted, and you wanted to taste a 5 euro wine, for instance, and only had 2 euro left on your card, the machine would give you 2 euro worth. The white wines are kept chilled, and the pricier red wines are in a temperature-controlled cabinet. Other reds are at room temperature, but it was similar to a cellar there.

I, of course, had a great time. But Consuela, the hostess, warned me that it could be a dangerous place!! It certainly was a fun place. I will go back, though. I still have some euro left on my card. Any visitors I get here will get a tour of Enoteca Intelligente, also.

This evening, Amanda and I are going for another walk, then hopefully, find a place to watch the World Cup semi-finals. I have never been big on watching sports on TV, except for the old Raiders football team in the 1970′s, but it is easy to get caught up in the World Cup fever over here, even if Italy is not playing. Amanda likes soccer and has been able to educate me on some of the rules of the game.

There is always something to do here in Florence. I will say Arrivederci and write again, after some more adventures.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

Want to Follow Bella’s Adventure Directly? Check Out Dolly Travels

Click here for gay travel resources in Florence & Tuscany.

Postcards From an Italian Adventure – At Last, a Sunny Day In Florence

Author: , July 17th, 2010

Gay Friendly Tuscany Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on an extended adventure in Italy. She has graciously agreed to let us republish her travel logs. Enjoy!

Florence

Wednesday, June 23rd

FlorenceWhen I first opened my eyes, I thought: is that really sunlight peeking through the shutters? I quickly got up, opened the windows, and could hardly believe my good luck. Yes, sunlight was shining brightly, therefore, it did not take me long to shower, and get outdoors to enjoy it.

I had a couple of errands to run, so started out by doing those things, in our neighborhood, but I wanted to see more of Oltrano, the area across the Arno River, the more Bohemian area of Florence. I went past San Frediano church, but then I did go to Santa Maria del Carmine, which is a huge church, very beautiful, with frescoes from the 15th century by Masaccio and Lippi.

FlorenceThe Brancacci Chapel is nearby, but closed on Tuesdays. I always seem to go over there on a Tuesday, so will have to plan things better. I also was able to go into San Spirito church, which is also huge, but other than the ceiling, the church is quite plain.

By then it was almost noon, and I was not ready for lunch, so I just kept walking, finally emerging onto Porta Romano, which is the southern boundary of Florence, and also another entrance to Boboli Gardens, which I did not have the energy to do, but did go to the ticket office, bought myself a ticket to the Mozart opera,
“The Magic Flute”, which will be performed in the Boboli Gardens on July 15. I have never seen that opera, so it should be a treat…if it doesn’t rain.

FlorenceI walked back to Florence proper, but the street I was on veered to the west, so I ended up crossing the Arno via Ponte Vespucci. By now I was ready for lunch, but continued walking, until I came to Piazza Signoria, then headed for home, and found a little trattoria where I had a salad and some wine. I enjoyed people watching for awhile, then continued on to the apartment. I was tired but what a lovely walk I had.

I also had an appointment to get my hair trimmed… and trimmed it is… with any luck it will have grown some by September, when Frank gets here, so he will be able to recognize me. But now I will not have to worry about blow drying it, or styling it.

Tomorrow is supposed to be nice weather again, and Friday I am going to Orvieto, a hill town about half way between Florence and Rome. I have wanted to see that area for a long time, to see if I shall add it to my group travel itinerary for next year. I will spend 2 nights there, returning to Florence on Sunday.

But before then Thursday is the celebration day of St. John. There shall be lots of activities here in Florence for that feast day. So much to see and do.

You may not hear from me until Sunday, as I will not be taking the computer to Orvieto. I will take my camera, however, so I will have to download the pictures that I take, when I get back on Sunday.

Until then, take care of yourselves and each other.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

Want to Follow Bella’s Adventure Directly? Check Out Dolly Travels

Click here for gay travel resources in Florence & Tuscany.