Sunday, September o4, 2022
So, I hopped the #7 bus (knew to do this from my travel buddy, Rick Steves, of course!) at Piazza San Marco. There was an easy peasy ticket machine right there, too! The square was a bustle of traffic – pedestrian and motorized. I share this article from visitflorence.com, “Piazza San Marco: A Starting Place to Discover Florence”
“Connecting the Corners of Florence, Italy
The 17th century facade of the San Marco church dominates the all but tranquil square; buses, students, tourists and locals crisscross this piazza in droves from early morning until late at night.
The classic four-sided square is located in the northern part of Florence, just a short distance from the train station, the Duomo and practically next door to Michelangelo’s marble statue of Davidhoused at the Accademia Gallery. The piazza is a central hub for the comings and goings in the city center of Florence, connecting buses, streets and other squares, museums, monuments and people. This was just as true in the 1400’s during “the fire & fury” of Savonarola whose home was in the convent of San Marco as it is today.
It’s not a lofty philosophical/bohemian center like that of Piazza Santo Spirito on the other side of the river nor does it host the famous Calcio Storico game like that of Piazza Santa Croce. This square is more like a welcome mat to those using the public transport system, loading up and heading to the far corners of Florence… or getting off to invade the inner roads and vias of the city center.
The piazza, named after the fabulous church of San Marco which sits on one side, sees literally thousands upon thousands of people everyday. It features a small green area surrounded by benches, normally packed with students, travellers and pigeons and lined by rows of “motorini” or Italian scooters. The trees were recently taken down (August 2017) and will soon be replaced with new greenery including lots of roses. In the center of the square there is a bronze statue portraying General Manfredo Fanti, a soldier and leader in battles for Italian independence and unification.”
The bus ride was swift, upon a windy road out of the historical center of Florence with beautiful views of vineyards and olive trees as well as sprawling villas. It felt great to feel the wind flowing through the open windows, too!
This small town of Fiesole is perched on a hill overlooking the Arno valley. It has a main square, a few restaurants and shops, some minor sites and a major view!! It was established by the ancient Etruscans about 400 years before the Romans founded Florence. Per Rick, best vistas: “…view terrace of the Church of San Francesco and La Reggia restaurant – to the left up the steep stone Via San Francesco”. Indeed this was correct! My excursion was a wonderful break from the frenzy of visitors to Florence, and there was a nice breeze on the mountain top as well.
I easily got another bus home, and had plenty of time to refresh.
Refresh for my special dinner reservation made for me by my personal travel advisor, (right up there with Rick Steves) hubby “Billfish” at Aqua Al 2. The mushroom risotto was Absolutely Fantastic and Oh So Delicious!!! I also ordered the steak in a lucious blueberry sauce! So much Deliciousness! I took lots of leftovers to share with Proprietor Barbara who was still at the residence when I arrived home at 9:00!! I was very grateful for the several block return walk as I was beyond stuffed! This is my last night at this lovely establishment and tomorrow I will check into a hotel just a few blocks away and meet my trekking group.