Orvieto, take the Finiculare and bus.

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The Duomo Orvieto

If you plan on visiting Orvieto, that incredible hilltop town, and you are arriving by car, plan ahead. Like many town in Italy, traffic is restricted.  The “zona limitato” means you are subject to a multi or fine. Traffic cameras are present throughout Italy. I can attest to their effectiveness. Orvieto maintains a public parking lot at the bottom of the hill where you can take the funicular to the top and catch a bus for the short tine into the centro. Tickets are 1.30 Euro one way and good for 90 minutes. 

 

Here is a link to the short video of the ride and bus trip.

 

 

 

 

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There is a parking area at the base of the funiculare.  Look for spaces that indicate parking is allowed and there is no charge. 

What I Loved AboutTuscany Part one

Tuscany or Toscana is one of the most famous regions in Italy. Since Frances Mayes wrote “Under The Tuscan Sun” tourism in this region has increased immensely. Also property values have increased also. Toscana comprises a very large area. Plan on a week or more to visit the many wonderful sights. The food, climate and sights are exhilarating.  Hills and valleys, morning fog that burns off quickly in the sun. So much to see and feel. 

. NewImage  The movie with Diane Lane helped increase it’s popularity with visions of sunflowers and rustic homes.   There are many towns, cities, and regions the compromise Toscana.  Florence is a good place to start. Florence or Firenze is the capital of to Toscana.  It is a pedestrian city and cars are restricted from the city center.  

IMG 5186Florence viewed from Piazzale  Michangealo. It is worth the walk across the Arno river and the climb up to view the setting sun. At this time people flock from all over the city to view it.   You and have a glass of wine, or a café from any of the numerous bars nearby. I hurried to make sunset and see the spectacular vistas from this perch. 

 

DSC03421The Duomo, Firenze

 

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Am artist on the Arno river.

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Ponte Vecchio Firenze, night time is a great time to walk the city. 

 

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An artist work to restore a sculpture at the Uffizi which is a must see. Purchase your tickets in advance with an arrival time and skip the lines. Use the web for tickets. 

https://www.uffizi.it/en/pages/how-to-book-tickets

 

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Below, beefsteak Florentine 

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Start with a good piece of meat

 

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Served medium rare with a side of veggies. 

If you can visit Trattoria Pandemonio, Firenze. You will not be disappointed. 

http://www.trattoriapandemonio.it

The Decline and Fall of Rome????

From The NY Times here is a quote “Rome is in danger of becoming a dump. I don’t mean the rubbish heap of history, which is how the poet Petrarch envisioned the city in the 14th century. I don’t mean a precious junkyard of alfresco antiquities, Renaissance gems and Baroque treasures. I mean a dump.

No it is not!

I read a long detailed article in the New York Times Travel Section detailing how Rome has become rundown, and filthy with garbage and trash. It so easy to find everything wrong with a place. Northing is ever perfect and Rome certainly has some areas that could use improvement.

In 2017 we spend eighteen days in Rome staying in an apartment near the Campo dei Fiori. This put us in a neighborhood of mostly residents rather than tourists. Of course my wife and I were tourists, but the people we met were mostly locals and it felt very comfortable.

The area was mostly clean and well kept. I found none of the garbage nor graffiti that the article spoke about. Not to say it was perfect, some time trash bins were not emptied promptly but nothing like what the article depicted.

Many time we strayed to other neighborhoods and found similar situations. Reasonably clean and friendly people. This most trafficked tourists areas had some people soliciting for money, but ignoring them worked perfectly.

Here is my response published in the online version to the Times:

I have traveled to Italy 17 times since the 80s. Last year was our longest trip, two months. Eighteen days were in Rome, near the Campo dei Fiori. We walked 5 to 8 miles a day, took the bus and metro ( thanks to Google maps) and never saw the disaster that was depicted in the article. My wife and I visited several areas away from the center and found them to be clean and free from trash. There will always be some graffiti, but much less than in the mid 1980s. The Campo dei Fiori market closes each afternoon, and the entire piazza is cleaned up in about an hour to become the center for the evening nightlife. Our only encounter with major neglect was in Napoli during several prolonged strikes. Rome is still una bella citta

Do not be discouraged, visit the Eternal City and enjoy its beauty. You will not be disappointed.

Buon anno a tutti. Greg

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