The Hills Are Alive

We have had such a lovely day, walking around the hills in Florence and through the city centre.  We have walked miles and it has been stunning.

Breakfast at the hotel.fruit and strawberry yogurt Breakfast is so much more fun when someone makes it and clears it all away for you 🙂toast and fruit

Good morning little green lizard.

green lizard We are staying at Villa Tolomei.Villa Tolomei sign It is a hotel situated to the South of Florence.villa Tolomei drive It is quiet and peaceful here which is wonderful in many ways but the drawback is that it is a long walk or taxi ride to go anywhere.Villa Tolomei We have walked in to Florence twice and it takes about 40 minutes to Ponte Vecchio.Firenze sign Today though we took a different road as we were going to the Boboli gardens.a marignolle This little shrine was along the side of one of the roads.walking to Boboli 5 A lot of the road is one way and has very few cars coming along its cobbled surface.  We walked next to gigantic villas.walking to Boboli 4 walking to Boboli 3 walking to Boboli villa agtes villa 2 villa 1 I am not sure what this gate is called but it has huge wooden doors in the central part.our gate We got to the Boboli gardens and walked through from one end to the other.Boboli 2 There are some pretty parts.little island Boboli 1 viottolone Many interesting sculptures.Huge head in Boboli

Some splendid views of the Palazzo Pritti and over Florence.  But generally he gardens are hugely disappointing compared to anything I have seen in England.  There are very few flowers or ornamental shrubs and even the grassy areas are very unkempt.  But it was a good walk, albeit a very hilly one.looking out at Florence from Boboli We exited Boboli next to Forte Belvedere.Forte Belvedere And walked along to Piazzale Michaelangelo.olive trees Olives !olives on olive tree door on Belvedere The walk to Boboli was very downhill, the walk through Boboli was uphill and the walk to Piazzale Michaelangelo along Via Di Belvedere was very downhill.via di Belvedere Then it was a long hike up to Piazzale Michaelangelo.steps up to PM again Up and up and up!steps up to PM By the time I arrived I needed resuscitating reviving with an espresso and a lot of water.espresso and water at PM Which we enjoyed while looking at this view.coffee at PM view As we walked around the Piazzale we enjoyed the views even more.Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio Duomo from PM Ponte Vecchio from PM I didn’t know there was a beach in Florence!Firenze Beach Firenze beach close up This is the wall we walked besides while walking down Via di Belvedere.wall we walked beside There’s another David!another David After all that walking and all those hills, we all wanted to lie in or beside the pool for the afternoon which is exactly what we did.  For many hours and while there I swam quite a few lengths so I was really good with exercising today.in the pool Apart from an ice cream at Piazzale Michaelangelo we had not eaten since breakfast so we snacked on some crisps with a cold drink and I had tea with some biscuits.  I snoozed, swam and played cards with Harvey.  It was such a relaxing afternoon.

tea and cards Before heading out for supper we enjoyed a limoncello and a game of cards on our little terrace which is just outside our room.

limencello and cards It catches the evening sunshine so is a very pleasant space to sit.outside our room We headed in to town to a restaurant we had been recommended by fellow guests at the hotel.Ready for dinner We were dropped off at the Southern end of Ponte Vecchio and enjoyed walking along in the dusk.  I was comfortably warm and there was a fantastic guitarist busking in the middle of the bridge.Busker on PV People sat around and enjoyed the music.On PV Arno from PV There are so many gelaterias near Ponte Vecchio, we decided to have one on the way back instead of dessert.Gelateria Firenze We had not walked up this street before so had not walked past this building before – the Mercato Nuevo.  We came to this again later and were in for a treat.Mercato Nuevo This is where we had dinner, La Grotta Guelfa which was near Piazza della Repubblica. Ristorante La Grotta Guelfa I only took my small camera out tonight so apologies for the picture quality but this was an excellent Tuscan vegetable soup.  Mainly cabbage with white beans but it was very well flavoured and I really enjoyed it.Tuscan vegetable soup 1 My main was chicken with Mozarella which came in a cream sauce and I had it with roast potatoes.  Apart from the gazillion calories it must have contained, this was excellent and I really enjoyed it.  Unfortunately Lara and Harvey did not enjoy their pork dishes.  They both had different pork chop recipes and neither were great.  So a bit hit and miss this place.  The service though was faultless.  We were given a prosecco each when we arrived because we had to wait for a table but we hadn’t booked and only waited 10 minutes!  Then they deducted Harvey’s meal from the menu as he hadn’t eaten it so we were very impressed.chicken with mozarella After dinner we heard some beautiful singing and discovered a busking opera singer in the Mercato Nuovo!busking opera 1 You definitely get a better class of busker in Florence than any other city I have ever been to!  She was really good and I listened to several songs with absolute pleasure and was more than happy to drop some money in to her hat.busking operaWhile we enjoyed the singing we found this excellent ice-cream and chocolate shop.
Venchi ice-cream and chocolate Most Italian gelaterias do not sell sorbets, much to Harvey’s disappointment but this one sold several fruit flavours as well as hazelnut, pistachio and chocolate so he was a very happy boy.granitas Opera and ice-cream, enjoyed in the open air in Florence – what a complete treat.ice creams and opera

That was our last full day in Florence.  We have all really enjoyed it and I would like to return one day to see many of the other places I have not had time to visit.

About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in a small village in the beautiful Weald of Kent with my husband and 2 children. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. After all, I live in the 'Garden of England' so it seems silly to not take advantage of that. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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2 Responses to The Hills Are Alive

  1. laura1952 says:

    Thank you for the tour with your brilliant photography. There really is a big difference in the quality with the smaller camera. Great pictures too of Lara and Harvey as well as everything else.

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