Lake Garda , Genoa, Florence. Perugia, San Marino, Venice.
The end of August, beginning of September 2014, we made a trip through Italy. We visited Lake Garda, Genoa, Florence, Perugia, San Marino and Venice. At Lake Garda we stayed two days (three nights). In other places one day (two nights). Some places we had seen together on other holidays, but that was years ago. (1977 camping Viareggio, 1995 camping
Garda, 2003 Camping at Lake Trasimeno)
Our hotel was in Gardone. A town on the western shore of Lake Garda. The promenade on the lake is nice and from there depart tour boats.
There are a few tourist spots. Best known is the Vittoriale degli Italiani. A park with buildings, a theater, gardens and even a war boat. It was built between 1921 and 1938 by Gabriele d'Annunzio, with the help of the architect Giancarlo Maroni. We first went to the
garden Giardino Botanico Fondazione André Heller. After that there was no time to visit the park because the next day we wanted to make a boat trip on Lake Garda.
Gardone. Giardino Botanico Fondazione André Heller.
The only garden this holiday, but a very nice one. The ground is of André Heller Foundation. André Heller is an Austrian artist.
In the garden plants can be seen from all parts of the world. There are beautiful tree ferns, grass trees, palms, bamboo. It's too much to mention. From the higher parts you have a nice view over the garden. There are many ponds. Furthermore you will be surprised by all kinds of images of Roy Lichtenstein, Susanne Schmögner, Mimmo Paladino and Keith Haring. The garden was created in 1901 by Dr. Arturo Hruska, an Austrian dentist. Therefore, the garden also called Giardino di Arturo Hruska.
Boat trip on Lake Garda Gardone to Sirmione.
You can also drive to Sirmione, but this is much more fun. On the second picture you can see the campsite where we were in 1995. On the fourth picture you see Isola del Garda. Today, a boat will go there too. The villa on the island is the architect Luigi Rovelli for the Borghese family - Cavazza. Built in 1890-1903.
A historic town on a peninsula in Lake Garda. In the town stands the Rocca Scaligera castle, built in the 13th and 14th centuries. In the town you will see masses of tourists. Yet it was fun walking again through the streets.
Sirmione. Grotte di Catullo.
Just outside the city at the end of the peninsula there are ruins of a Roman villa from the beginning of our era. Here you can walk and you have a beautiful view of the lake, just as twenty years ago, it was remarkably quiet.
Our hotel was near the port of Genoa. It isn't a nice area. Ferries arrive here, the airport is also not far away. There is a good metro links to the city center.
When driving through the city you have to look out for the many scooters on the road.
On arrival the weather was nice, but the next day it rained all day. Because I felt a bit sick, we haven't seen so much.
On our way to Florence we passed Lucca. In this town we also
have been in 1977. There wasn't changed much. A little more touristy, but still it is a quiet town, where you can walk into the churches without waiting or paying.
The historic center is walled and therefore there isn't much traffic.
First Church: San Michele in Foro. Second Church: Basilica of San Frediano. Third church: Chiesa di San Pietro Somaldi. Latest
church: Cattedrale di San Martino.
A beautiful city, but crowded !!! Especially the rows accompanied by a guide, who holds up a sign to keep everyone together I will not soon forget.
For all important buildings you have to pay to be able to come inside.
Basilica di San Lorenzo.
This was the parish church of the Medici family. It was designed by Brunelleschi.The construction started 1420. A very special quiet façade. Unfortunately, it wasn't allowed to take photos.
Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo della Signoria, Palazzo del
Formerly the main governmental building. The main building was built between 1298 and 1314. Now it is a museum with works by Donatello, Mantegna and Pontormo.
In the small photos are pictures of the interior and views from the building.
The building stands in the Piazza della Signoria. There are many sculptures.
Basilica di Santa Croce at the Piazza Santa Croce.
In 1290 the construction of this church started.
In the church are many tombs of famous Florentine people. (Leon Battista Alberti, a 15th-century architect, Vittorio Alfieri an 18th-century poet and playwriter, Leonardo Bruni a humanist and historian, Galileo Galilei, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Niccolo Machiavelli, Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1564 Vasari, Gioacchino Rossini Louise of Stolberg-Gedern wife of Charles Edward Stuart, Giorgio Vasari.)
Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo.
Here we haven't been inside. The queue was too long as you can see on the picture.
Late 13th century, they started the constructionof hte cathedral It had to be larger than those in Pisa and Siena. It took a while before it was ready. It is a stunning building that doesn't fit in the picture.
On the west side is the Baptistery of San Giovanni, a free-standing baptistery. It was unfortunately on the renovation and was completely surrounded by a cloth with the image of the chapel. (partially visible on the left in the photo below)
A village on a hill surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. We bought delicious wine.
Montalcino is dominated by the fortress the "Rocca" against the Florentines and Spaniards.
Perugia, we have also already visited. The old town is on a hill, where you can come. by Escalators from many parking places.
There are many tourists, but it is not unpleasant like sometimes in Florence and in Venice.
On the photo left you can see the Palazzo dei Priori, with the town hall inside. On the square you can see the
Fontana Maggiore. Across the square is the cattedrale Metropolitana di San
Perugia has many beautiful narrow streets.
There is still a lot of the Etruscans in Perugia. One example is this deep Etruscan
The historical center of Urbino is on a hill, which you can reach
from the parking by an elevator. You have to walk back along the road in
Well known are the 15th century Palazzo Ducale and the church Duomo di Urbino.
When we drove on, we saw the old center already on top of the mountain that rose above the landscape. There was our hotel.
When we arrived the weather was nice. The next day it has rained very hardly to about five o'clock. So we couldn't see everything.
The view is fantastic. I have some pictures of the first day upon arrival,
evening and after the rain. On the last picture you can see the changing of the
Like Florence, Venice is very busy. If you're only one day, of course you visit most tourist spots. There is no traffic in the downtown. We had bought a day pass for the water bus (vaporetto). You can hop on and off as many times as you like.
The first picture is from the Ponte degli Scalzi, designed by Eugenio Miozzi and completed in 1934.
The second bridge is more famous. Namely, the Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge) designed by Antonio da Ponte. On the bridge you will find many
In each small channel that you pass, you can see gondolas.
Basilica di San Marco (Basiliek van San Marco).
The largest cathedral in Venice at the Piazza San Marco. Built in 1060.
We have not entered because of the very long queue.
The square is also impressive.
View of the island
San Giorgio Maggiore with the church designed by Palladio in 1566.
The Bridge of Sighs. The bridge is a connection between the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) and the prison. Prisoners went over the bridge to the prison.
Saint Mary of Health. Built in 1631-1687 by the architect Baldassare Longhena. The building is made of white limestone, octagonal in shape and in baroque style.
Besides the buildings it is also nice to see the stalls and shops with glassware and masks.