Day 02 - Monday, April 08, 2019 - Flight: Munich, Germany to Florence, Italy; Drive to Pienza, Italy; Explore Pienza
After a night crossing of the North Atlantic, we arrived safely in Munich, Germany at 9:55 AM and went right through the Euro Zone customs and immigration.
We found the departure gate for the next flight to Florence, Italy. Air Dolomiti operated this flight, an Italian partner of Lufthansa, which was a new airline for us. A shuttle bus took us to an outlying tarmac to board the flight. For a while there, we thought we might be driving all the way to Florence.
The crew was very welcoming and friendly. Our prebooked seats were 1A and 2A and with only five people in First Class, each of us had a whole row to ourselves in the Embraer 190 aircraft.
There was a slight delay in loading the luggage pushing our 11:15 departure back until 11:35. The ground crew rolled back the stairs and at 11:42 we were on our way to Florence.
The short flight over the Alps was only an hour and ten minutes and we arrived at Amerigo Vespucci Airport about 12:55 PM. The clouds were thick, but every so often we could see glimpses of the red tiled roofs of the Tuscany farmhouses.
There was a shuttle to take us to the Hertz rental car depot and we had our paperwork ready to pick up our Fiat. The clerk was so nice and after talking to us she recommended a larger vehicle and upgraded us to a Renault station wagon.
After a short tutorial on the car and the GPS system from Lorenzo, we headed south to our destination for the next three days, Pienza. Many of you might be wondering why we skipped the culture of Florence and drove straight to Pienza.
To make a long story short, we have been to Florence several times. In 2005, our son, Eduardo was a grad student at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci. Our visit with him was spectacular. Nothing beats visiting an international city with a family member as our private local guide!
Back to our present adventure - there was a lot of road construction on A-1. The roads were narrow, the trucks were huge, and the traffic was heavy. However, with the help of our trusty and tolerant GPS, we made it to the Piccolo Hotel by 4:15 PM.
Marco, the hotel’s owner, found our reservation right away and he showed us to our room that had a fantastic view of the Val d’Orcia, (the valley of Tuscany). He provided us with another chair and an additional luggage rack so we were all ready to set up shop for the next day’s publication of GarciaTrips.
Our first priority was to get out and walk a bit, stretch our legs, and reminisce about the last time we were visiting the city 2005. As the sun was setting over the Tuscan Hills, it started to get a bit chilly. We walked back to the Piccolo and organized our bags and began to look at our photos and started the journal.
We asked Sylvia at the front desk to help us find the best pizza café and then walked back to the center of the old city and took a few photos of the late afternoon sun on the valley.
On the way back we stopped at Pummarò, Peinza, the pizza kitchen that Silvia recommended. It was a very simple Pizza Margherita but made with fresh tomatoes and creamy mozzarella cheese, topped with fresh arugula.
We got back to our room at 8:30 for a hot shower and to finish recording our day. A good night’s sleep will refresh us for another day. Be prepared to learn more about Pienza and Tuscany tomorrow.
Accommodations: Piccolo Hotel - - - Meal: B, L, D
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Great photos already. Yesterday's picture of the bobcat on your land was a bit eerie. When we went on our cruise to Italy with Carolyn and David Barrett and her cousins, we discovered we loved that little country and would like to go back. Enjoy!
I'm excited about your trip already. Love that country. Will be fun to see what you see and do. Enjoy!
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Sounds like you have planned a great trip! I haven't been to Lichtenstein or San Marino, either, YET! I'm doing two OAT trips to Italy in May and June. I'll have nearly six weeks of the wonderful country! Love your photos so far and look forward to more!
The Preserve was set aside to buffer some of the ecologically sensitive karsts in the area from encroaching neighborhoods. Karsts are caves that feed directly into the Edwards Aquifer below ground.
Because the three caves can be dangerous to hikers and nonprofessional spelunkers, they are...