We had a great guide and he really knew his history well. The walking up and down stairs was tiring but well worth the effort. We had a great tour of the coliseum and its history and also the surrounding acres of property including being able to see Julius Caesar's grave. Imagine that! the coliseum was on the other side of town from where we stayed and took a cab to the meeting place. At the end of the tour it was Sunday night and cabs were not available so we got brave and took the subway from the coliseun station back to our timeshare It was adventurous for us and fun and turned out pretty easy. We watched how a few people got their tickets from the machine, did the same thing. The subway routes are on a large sign and as long as you know what subway station to get off, its easy. They are color coded several people who spoke enough English to help point us in the right direction. We got off at the stop for Trevi Fountain and walked the rest of the way. It was really fun. Keep valuables in a pacsafe, etc and be aware, but we felt very safe our entire time in Italy.
This is a must tour for first time visitors to Florence. The original David statue by Michaelangelo is here along with many other beautiful paintings and architecture. There is a "fake David" in the city hall square Piazza next to the Uffizzi museum that replaced the original that was located there for 350 years or so until moved to Accademia Museum . This tour meets you in front of the museum, gives you your tickets and brings you to the entrace and skips the long entrance line. It is not a guided tour. You are on your own inside the museum. It is not a huge place and you can wander thru at your own pace. There are guide books and headphones if you wish to pay extra. We didn't use them and I think we saw enough. Sit on the benches at several locations around the statue and stare at the magnificence of it all. David was carved from a single block of marble that was considered of poor quality. Unbelievable!
This tour left from a well marked spot near the Santa Maria Novella Central train station. It is a bus ride for about 30-40 minutes to Siena and then a smaller town of San Gimignano with a guide on the bus and another on the ground in each town who really knew the area and its history. Both are very interesting. Much bragging about the best gelato anywhere in San Gimignano but we found it about the same as gelato everywhere- Wonderful. I asked a local for a recommendation for lunch and they suggested LaMassa Restaurant on the large town center square. It also has a free bathroom for it's customers which by that time became important. We found the restaurant empty of customers, but we went anyway. We had Pizza and it was fantastic! It started getting busier as we were leaving. It was very typical Italian and inexpensive and the people were warm and friendly. A good find!
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