Our Freccia train to Firenze was scheduled at 08.35 and this time I was smarter. I downloaded My Taxi apps to my phone and book Taxi via apps so I didn’t get ripped off again like Day 1. Our Taxi came right away and it only cost me €6.9 😎
We had breakfast at the train station while waiting to see where our platform was going to be.
Traveling time to Firenze was only 1.5 hour. Once arrived in Firenze, we left our suitcases in the left luggage storage, located on the left side of the station when you were coming out. We also checked where the SITA bus station was, and found that it was on the opposite site. I bought Bus ticket to Panzano for later after we have finished sightseeing in Firenze.
The heatwave already started in Firenze so we took a bus to Duomo even though it was only 2km walk from the station. The bus was more like a mini bus and small enough to pass thru Firenze’s small alleys.
Firenze or Florence, is the capital of the famous Italian region of Tuscany. It is one of the most visited cities in Italy, attracting approximately ten million tourists every year. Firenze was founded in the year 59 BC by Emperor Julius Caesar. He named the Roman settlement Florentia and used the area as a large Roman army camp. Something you can still see in the street map of Firenze even now. Florentia was especially important, because it was on the Arno River and as a result a fertile valley for the Roman troops. After the time of the Romans, Firenze fell into several hands, as in the sixth century in the hands of the Longobards, a Germanic people. After this, Firenze became a separate city-state and in the thirteenth century it took a leading position thanks to a flourishing trade in textiles and wool, supported by its banking system
In the course of time, the power of Firenze, which lay first in the hands of guilds and later of the republic, passed to noble families. The most famous example of this is the Medici family. For three centuries, the Medici ruled Firenze and later much of Tuscany. The Medici were a banking family who helped Firenze reach its growth. During the time of the banking family, Firenze grew into the intellectual and cultural heart of Europe, where an artistic flourishing took place. Well-known names such as Dante, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Donatello and Petrarca date from this period, which we know as the Renaissance and the reason why we still have Firenze on our to do list.
Firenze is pretty compact and can be explored by walking. But with the heatwave, the walk was not too pleasant. We walked in shades whenever possible and did many stops and the more reason to get gelato to keep kids happy.
The most famous landmark in Florence is Duomo or Santa Maria del Fiore. The 115 meter high dome of this Duomo and the adjacent Campanile have defined Firenze skyline for centuries.
After seeing Duomo and walked around Firenze, we picked a restaurant for lunch and had a bit of a rest before going back to train station and continue our journey to Panzano. We wanted to take the bus back to Santa Maria Novella train station but I couldn’t find the bus stop and we ended up walking all the way.
When we walked to SITA bus station, we found there is another left luggage store called Stow Your Bag similar branch with the one in Roma Termini. It is located closer to SITA bus station and made a better option if you were going to continue to Tuscany region by SITA bus. We came on time to the Bus Station and boarded on the bus. The Bus thankfully had air conditioning and Fabio quickly fell asleep while Alyssa prefer to read her book. The journey to Panzano in Chianti took around 1 hour.
The Chianti area in Tuscany is one of the most beautiful in the whole region, as well as the most well-known and appreciated by visitors from across the world. The borders of the Chianti region are not clearly defined but in general it extends over the provinces of Florence and Siena, covering all of the area between the two cities and extending to the east toward the Valdarno and to the west to the Val d’Elsa. The Chianti wine area extends further beyond the two cities, all around Florence and even toward Arezzo, Pistoia and Montepulciano.
The journey to Chianti region was very scenic. We passed thru many famous rolling hills of Chianti and the vine yards. We dropped off at Panzano bus stop, which was located in the town square and called our Host, Rosalba who said that she would pick us up. Rosalba was very understanding of our situation and helped us contacting a private driver so we could do sightseeing for the next day.
Panzano was a cute little village in Chianti next after Greve. I chose Panzano, albeit it is a smaller village Vs Greve because it was located up in the hill so it was much cooler Vs Strada and Greve. Rosalba’s house was located in the upper part of the street which made it even cooler. Such a breeze in the middle of heatwave.
I quickly fell in love with Rosalba’s house. It was as what I imagined a Tuscany house would be like and I love the backyard. We had a nice view of the vineyard and Achita got her slide and swings. The house was family friendly as well. There were many dolls and toys for Achita to play. It did however get hot in the bedroom on the second floor but Rosalba put a fan which helped.
In the evening we walked down to the square to find Dario Restaurant as recommended by Rosalba. Dinner only started at 8pm so we killed time by strolling around Panzano and found a perfect photo spot not far from the bus stop.
Dining at Dario Restaurant in Panzano
Dining at Dario was one of the best carnivore dinner I ever had. It was an all you can eat meat. Dinner started at 8pm and it was a communal set up where all the guests. sat together on a long table and wait for the waitress to serve us. The meat was so good and even Achita enjoyed the meat because they were juicy and tender. I was so full I couldn’t eat any more after the 3rd course. Fabio had a big appetite and he could finish all the meal. He said it was one of the best meal he ever had 😄
We were so lucky to get a spot without reservation. I was not even aware how famous Dario restaurant was and that his Restaurant was located in Panzano 😅 More about Dario Cecchini here.
Dinner finished around 10pm and everybody couldn’t eat anymore. We walked back to the house with Achita already asleep on her stroller. It has been a long day but ended with such a nice meal experience ❤️