We caught the bus into Florence and, with true pioneer spirit, got off earlier than advised when a local market caught our attention.

Next stop Duomo, it took us all of 20 minutes to walk around it, we admired the architecture before moving on.

Uffizi Gallery and Da Vinci’s Statue of David, tick., all done and dusted in 20 minutes.

David is photographed from the waist up to prevent embarrassment….As you can tell, we don’t really do culture so observing from the street suited us fine!

Ponte Vecchio, tick, an old bridge with shops on it like many in Italy. There was a minor delay as the sparkling jewellery shop windows caught Kim’s attention.

Our final destination was the Boboli Gardens. The gardens date back to the mid 16th century and are laid out behind the Pallazo Pritti, the main home to the Medici family in Florence. It was a hot day but the walk to the top of the garden was amazing – we could see across the city, all the way to snowy mountain tops.

Continuing our reptile theme, we found an obelisk similar to Cleopatras Needle resting on four tortoises. If anyone knows the history of this, please let us know

Exhausted, we caught the bus back to the campsite and treated ourselves to a visit to the local wine shop on our way past. We thought it might help us get up the hill to the van!

We’re off to Venice tomorrow which is just as well. The campsite is filling up with healthy looking people who are for the Florence half marathon

Our ‘Durrell’ moment

Breakfast in glorious sunshine, amongst the olive trees (and electricity pylons) and we have company……

This takes Kim right back to being 4 years old – you’re likely to have heard this before! On holiday in Switzerland her Dad taught her how to pick lizards up properly, by the tail! Cue lots of screaming as the lizard escaped and she was left with a wriggling tail in her hand, convinced she had just murdered it. Re-telling the story never failed to make Ken laugh and bizarrely installed a lifelong love of reptiles in Kim.

Day 2 – San Gimignano to Firenze

Leisurely start and the sun is shining, the views from the campsite are stunning.

San Gimignano was this morning’s destination.

We managed to remove the motor homes from the campsite without incident and caught the bus into town. We shall never know how the bus driver didn’t knock anyone over as he made his way round narrow streets not designed for vehicles.

San Gimignano is a medieval city of towers. At its peak, in the 14th/15th century, there were over 70 towers which were built as fortresses and signs of wealth and power.

The town is beautiful and it’s amazing to think it’s survived intact.

Kim and Jacky splashed out 5€ to go up into the Sylvestus Tower which has been converted into a very stylish, modern apartment. At no point we’re the rooms larger than 9ft square. It’s amazing what you can achieve over 11 floors.

The view from the terrace at the top was rather lovely.

Today’s attractions included a display of firefighting equipment, including a very ‘Dad’s Army’ Landrover lookalike (Fiat!)

We also found a novel use of an old pallet

After lunch, Jane and David headed for Siena while we aimed for Florence……. and we arrived safely with only one minor detour. Quite a success, we think!

The campsite is tired (as are we), but the sun shone and we explored the area. Not much to say about that, a 10 minute walk had us on a main road with not a bar or restaurant in sight. On top of that, Ken and Jacky’s van is stuck on their pitch. It’s been raining a lot here and the site is very soft and muddy. It looks like a tractor may be needed to pull them out on Sunday which would be fun. We’re feeling a little smug, we got stuck on a pitch but managed to get out (without damaging anything). We’re now parked between two electricity pylons but you can’t have everything in life.

Our day ended with a proper camping meal, cooked on minuscule gas stoves and eaten at a picnic table

Night night, we’re catching a bus into Florence in the morning.