In Florence, Italy, October 3, 2010, I met three couples from Eugene, Oregon and gave them a 10 day tour. My favorite walk in Florence is from the Arno River up to Piazza Michaelangelo and through the old Roman gate on the return to the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Then we took the train to Lucca, stopping in Pisa to climb the leaning tower. In the walled, medieval town of Lucca we had a guide one morning, then were free to walk the wall around the town and explore. On our way to Assisi the next day, we stopped in Lari, where the Martelli family makes the pasta I buy in Eugene at Olive Grand or Newman’s.
On our way to Venice, we stopped for a few hours to walk around Bologna.
The island of Murano is about 45 minutes by water taxi from Venice. The glass blowers make the famous glass here. At one time, a glass maker left the island with a death sentence hanging over him. No one wanted their glass making secrets to leave the island.
The Italy trip concluded in Venice. We took the water taxi to Murano island to see the glass blowers one morning, then spent the afternoon roaming around Venice. It was a really fun trip with good companions, fair weather and beautiful sights.