BERGAMO - FIRENZE - PISA - POTOVENERE
7 day round trip
790km round trip (Florence, Pisa, Portovenere)
Beside the banks of the River Arno and set among low hills clad in olive groves and vineyards, Florence ( Firenze) is immediately captivating. Cradle of the Renaissance and home of Machiavelli, Michelangelo and the Medici, the city seems unfairly over blessed with art, culture and history. Despite the traffic and stifling summer heat, Florence attracts millions tourists each year. The French writer Stendhal was so dazzled by the magnificence of the Basilica di Santa Croce that he was barely able to walk for faintness. He’s not the only one to have felt overwhelmed by the beauty of the city –Florentine doctors reputedly treat a good dozen cases of “ Stendhalismo” each year. You need at least four or five days to do Florence any justice at all.
Once, is briefly, a maritime power to rival Genoa and Venice, Pisa now draws its fame from an architectural project gone terribly wrong: its Learning Tower (Torre Pendente). But the world famous tower is only one of a trio Romanesque splendours on the green carpet of the Piazza dei Miracoli – a serious rival to Venice’s Piazza San Marco for the title of Italy’s most memorable square. Pisa has a centuries old tradition as a university town and still swarms with students.
PORTO VENERE (SP)
Historic Porto Venere, with its riddle of narrow lanes, pretty harbour front and Byronic associations, is a pleasing spot to relax and enjoy some of the fine local seafood. The Romans built Portus Veneris as a base en route from Gaul to Spain, and is later years, Byzantines, Lombards, the Genovese and Napoleon all recognised its importance