Sunday, 23 April 1978
Fine, warm, clear
Breakfast at 7.15 – departed 7.50.
Lush farmlands of the Po Valley. Through the Tuscan Hills. Beautiful cultivated hills as the road starts to rise. Road is a wonderful piece of engineering as it rises and snakes its way through and over the hills and gullies. Many tunnels and high viaducts vary in length from 150m to 600m (quite common), 800m and one must have been about a mile long. One tunnel of 800 odd metres came straight into a viaduct of 400m to the opposite hill. A very fast and well graded road. As we descended you could look back and see four of these viaducts that we had crossed. Florence for lunch.
Afternoon to Florence leather shop. Many coats and other leather goods.
Guided tour of city – Ponte Vecchio bridge, old Roman watch towers, Michelangelo Square. Started to rain – Palazzio Vecchio – the meeting place of the Commune (statues & towers), Florence Cathedral – immense Tuscan arches – huge dome 130 feet (like St Paul’s) built in 14/15 hundreds – an immense church inside.
Up to Fiesole in the Tuscan hills – coffee and pizza. Struck traffic jam from football on way back. Six lanes wide across the road blocked. Hotel at 7.30. Meals so far quite satisfactory.