Day 67 – San Marino
After ringing the insurance company and checking that we were definitely covered in San Marino we headed up the hill. Jack’s parents had been here so we’d heard a lot about it. After parking up at the middle of the hill another British couple in a van approached us and asked where the nearest motorhome services were as they needed to empty their toilet and didn’t want to do it in the already blocked toilets in the car park. Little did he know that when Jack had got out the van to check the parking signs he’d seen him in the toilets with his toilet cassette.
A piadina later we jumped on the cable car and headed even further up the hill. If there’s ever a moment when you don’t want to tumble down a hill it’s when you are in a circular cable car! At the top we headed to tourist information so Jack could get his first ever passport stamp.
San Marino has become very touristy and the majority of the top is dedicated to tourists. Having said this the view from the top was incredible; supposedly on a clear day you can see Croatia. There’s also a really nice mix between
As we walked around we passed the Public Palace perfectly in time to see the changing of the guard.
We paid to go inside the First Tower, which is literally built into the rock and where staff are dressed like in the 17th Century teaching you about what it is like to live at that time. One of the rooms in the Tower had a whole line of doctors tools; I am definitely glad technology moves on! You can climb one of towers up the weirdest of ladders, so if you visit I definitely recommend you wear shorts and comfortable shoes. The views were pretty cool.
On our way out I thought it would be funny to take a picture with the guard outside!
Basically San Marino is all about the views!
After having dinner in the van and watching the sunset, we drove on to Florence and parked up among the coaches.
Day 68 – Florence
Now we knew we were never going to be able to do Florence in a day but thought as we had to drive through on our way to Pisa we should stop and at least to have a wander. It’s somewhere we would like to come back to and do properly, but definitely not during high season. Even though we’ve been travelling through the busiest months for tourism, we haven’t really been met in a lot of places by a mass of people like we expected; well until we reached Florence that is! The entire of the small old town was completely packed which you can see from our pictures. Our plan was to go up the bell tower, but we quickly decided that the probable 2-3 hour wait in the midday sun wouldn’t be fun. Just means we have more to do next time. Florence was just as expected, very grand and very beautiful! The Cathedral was one of the most stunning we’ve seen on our trip. Even the tourist information had an incredible setting!
We headed around the old town, which has an old beautiful building on every corner and found a quaint little bakery for lunch. The guy enticed us in with his meat slicer, freshly made sandwiches and pizza and everything smelt amazing.
After looking at all of the must see buildings on our tourist map, we headed over to the other side of the river crossing over the Ponte Vecchio with its jewellery shops over the bridge. I’m not ashamed to say I looked in the window of every one! I like looking at jewellery; something might have inspired my next creation so I had to look in every one.
We then headed back across town towards the markets because who doesn’t love a market! Our walk was via the bell tower to see if the queue had got any smaller; it hadn’t. I upset two different stall holders with my haggling, but eventually ended up with the bag I wanted for the price I was willing to pay. Jack treated himself to two work belts, one in black and one in brown for every occasion. We also did a bit of gift shopping but I’m not going to say anymore on that subject because that would be telling! Inside the covered market we drooled over all the meats and cheeses and pastas in every shape, size and colour. The top floor had a food hall so the drooling continued. We had a lemon sorbet and a mango and passion fruit lolly and sat down with our purchases to people/food watch.
Another quick look round the market and we headed back to the van with dinner in the form of fresh pasta and some funky bread for lunch tomorrow.
Our next plan was to head to Livorno to a motor home carpark right on the marina where you can get on a boat to Corsica. We ended up being parked directly in front of a Looney Tunes boat with the faces of Bugs, Sylvester and Tweety which was pretty funny.
Make sure you out more of my posts on our Europe Road Trip across 3 months, 7,000 miles and 15 countries.
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