Sunday, June 14, 2015

Viva Italia

I recently returned from a trip to Toscana, Italy and if you haven't been there add it to your bucket list

The Toscana region of Italy is right on the Tyrrhenian sea. I stayed in the village of Vada at a place on the coastline. Most of the coast was rocky with small pockets of beaches with food pavilions in between.  The majority of the trip was spent traveling and exploring so I didn't get to enjoy the beach to much. The few times I did have a chance to lay on the beach and bask in the was marvelous. 

I few days into the trip I took a day tour to Florence a few hours away. Florence is a beautiful city. It has broad streets, filled with markets and shops of every type. The buildings are a blend of old and new architecture. A huge surprise for me was seeing buildings Michelangelo designed before he moved to Rome at age 35. There are to many amazing pieces of architecture to list in one post but the most common theme of Florence was churches. There are so many churches of different design it would baffle the imagination. It's no surprise that the center of Florence is a world heritage site.

The tour was led by a small middle aged Italian woman who really loved Florance. She could answer any question about the multitude of monuments and sculptures around the city. Our tour group was composed of five couples and three individuals with age ranges from mid-twenties to late sixties. The guide educated us on everything from art and literature to the different colors of marble, which was once known as "white gold." That was interesting information to me because I thought marble only came in white. The Toscana region is famous for producing red, yellow, green, blue and other veins of the expensive rock. Each color has it's own meaning: red - honor, white - faith, green - love...etcetera. That information gave more depth to her historical tales of old Renaissance architects.  

After walking around the city for hours with our over enthusiastic tour guide we were given time to explore for ourselves.The shopping was almost as good as the visuals. I found great deals on leather goods that would cost three times as much in Amsterdam. Jackets, belts, bags, boots, and other goods were for sale at thrift shop prices. I brought a few belts and a jacket for my upcoming video shoot for "Love Hip-Hop." Although I enjoyed the tour I wish that I had a few more days to explore Florence. There are so many museums of fine arts, and monuments around the city that one day isn't enough time to see everything.

If you like seafood the city of Cecina (pronounced chi-chi-na) is the place for you. All the seafood is fresh off the boat and still alive before it's cooked and served. I had some of the best fish I've ever tasted. Served in a light crispy breading that melts in your mouth. All over the city of Cecina, are beaches, ice cream shops and seafood restaurants. Most of the restaurants have delicious affordable foods and advertise biological vegetables, which is attractive to health conscious tourists. All over Toscana are olives and various flavors of local wines which range from sweet to spicy. After riding around different cities on the bike I rented. Having some seafood and wine really helped me relax. I learned a lot in a week of travel and below are a few pics from the trip. Hopefully it will give you the motivation to go see Italy for yourself

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