Thursday, 12 April 2012


Florence. Il Duomo. The size and grandeur of this enormous building took me by surprise. I've seen photos of it and I've spoken to people who have been to Florence but I had no concept of the sheer hugeness of the cathedral.
We got back on Tuesday evening from a fabulous road trip driving a campervan from Florence to Calais.Our first night was in a hotel just outside Luton airport, 5 of us in one room, and we have spent 10 nights in a space smaller than my living room and yet we have come home closer and more loving than we left.

The idea for this trip had come from my best friend's brother and we flew out with him, his wife and two children, went to the Italian supermarket with them and decided to stay on the same campsite as them for the first night. The two girls have a delightful and blossoming friendship, the just-about teenage boys are a little more wary of each other and are wildly different in character but are developing a relationship. My eleven year old is content to talk cars and football to both dad and son, and anyone else who'll join in! The children got muddy scrambling up the grass bank and the adults chatted over red wine and Tiramisu.
I took my art teacher's advice and tried a quick-sketch painting rather than a photograph. For me it captures not just the view but the feel of sitting on the grass, the sounds of the chidlren playing and the sense of the moment.
We spent Palm Sunday in Florence. We ambled around, ate ice-cream, crossed Ponte Vecchio, marveled at the living statues outside the Uffizi (our incomprehension of the English leaflet proffered us by Leonardo Da Vinci caused him to rummage deeper and offer us a German translation!), and admire the Cathedral. We paid 5 Euros to use the beautiful public toilets beside the Baptistry and were able to admire the model of the crane used to hoist the marble blocks to the top of the dome, ate our bread and cheese in the Piazza del Duomo and headed back on the bus to our mobile home begin the drive north.


Jane D. said...

sounds like a tremendous start, can't wait to hear more about it xxxxxxxxx

Bong Ortiz said...

This is a great way to enjoy Florence, watching the stars at night. Hotels Florence Italy is a great place to star gazing and this is the most romantic thing to happen with your loved one.