Florence, Italy
June 20th - June 26th 2011

Michael will be sharing his native country with Sarah on an extended trip to Italy.  Michael has been planing their itinerary for months, and with so many beautiful sights in Italy it is hard to narrow it down to fit into one trip.  Sarah has been trying to learn Italian so that she can keep up while touring.  They will be spending part of the trip in Florence visiting with his family, allowing Sarah to officially meet his sister and parents. The itinerary includes several day trips from Florance, and seeing the numerous sights of Florence.  The trip will be topped off with several days in Venice, complete with a real Gondola ride!  

Florence "magnificent" places and landmarks..

Day 1
We will start the first day going downtown visiting the Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, climbing up the Cupola designed and built by Brunelleschi. We will also visit the old Chiesa di Santa Reparata which is the church the duomo has been build on, and there are some remains in the duomo undergrounds, now turned intor a store.
Following we will move to Palazzo Vecchio, residence of Medici family during Renessance, crossing Via Calzaiuoli, a historical street in Florence. We will visit the inside of Palazzo Vecchio and Galleria degli Uffizi which contains hundreds of paintings and sculptures.
Curiosity: the big bronze ball on top of Duomo in Florence, fell down in January 1600 creating a new unplanned landmark only few people know about.

Day 2
Dedicated to visit Ponte Vecchio and jewelry stores (NOT BUYING ANYTHING LOL), an antique toy store and of course stopping by to admire street artists painting portraits on the spot. Lunch at Trattoria Bordino, following is visit to Palazzo Pitti, another landmark and museum in Florence, and Giardino di Boboli, park and landmark from 16th century.Dinner at Caffe' degli Artisti and night visit to historical center of Florence with stop at Caffe' Giubbe Rosse and Paszowski, two of the most prestigious caffe' in Florence.

Day 3
We leave Florence for a field trip to Chianti, the beautiful land of wine making and typical tuscan landscapes. We will visit a real "Fattoria" that make Chianti Wine (and buy some lol). Quick visit to Siena and afternoon in Monteriggioni, a 2 sq mile fortified town frozen in time since 1422. I remember visiting in1989 and there used to be a blacksmith.

Day 4
Another field trip to Vinci, native place of Leonardo da Vinci, Collodi, where Pinocchio was born and Pisa to see the leaning Tower. If we have time, we will go on top of tower. Also the Dome of Pisa holds the pendulum that Galileo Galilei used to demonstrate that Earth revolves around itself (it spins) and therefore it's a round planet, contrary to the belief of that ttime that earth was flat.
He also threw objects from the Tower of Pisa to demonstrate the law of acceleration by gravity. People back then thought "the heavier the object, the faster it will fall" (not true).

Day 5
Visit to Fiesole, an Ertuscan city even older than Florence, lunch with parents, visit to Roman anphytheater and remains. Visit to Convento di S. Francesco one of the few places left where heremites used to live in total isolation in 4x8 ft cells, with little food, no heat and constantly praying.

Food and Wine
We are planning to visit many restaurants in Florenze, and taste the most typical dishes from Florence, Ribollita, Soprassata, Pici con funghi, caffe' espresso macchiato un po' lungo. We are planning a family lunch at Ristorante Le Lance near Fiesole

Venice, Italy
June 26th - July 4th 2011

The trip will be topped off with several days in Venice, complete with a real Gondola ride!

Gondola Rialto bridge

...more to come about venice trip.


Michael Dusik and Sarah Irish Wedding Website