Our fifth day in Italy involved sleeping in with the windows open and cool crisp morning air. Day six, however, involved NO sleeping in and while the windows were still open, the lovely morning of the day before was replaced by vampire mosquitoes!
They ate me alive!!! A dozen or so beautiful bites all over my neck and arms. - I will refrain from posting the gruesome photos. You're welcome.
I was thinking that there may be some mosquitoes in Venice (with all the water) but I wasn't even thinking it would be an issue in Florence. Then again, there is a huge river right next to it. I blame my ignorance on the gelato-induced fog I was in.
The first stop on our day was a farewell view of Florence. Our bus took us to the top of a hill where we could see the whole city and the beautiful cathedral - breathtaking, right? Also, where there is a barre, railing, or ledge, one must strike a ballet pose. We only got to spend 15 minutes at the top and then it was back on the bus!
We drove through the country to the Castello del Trebbio. Once home to the infamous Pazzi family, the castle is now a thriving winery and popular tourist destination.
Long story short: the Medici family was the most powerful family in Italy and lived in Florence. The Pazzi family attempted to assassinate two Medici brothers in 1478 (during Mass, no less) but failed to kill one of them. The Medici family executed nearly every member of the Pazzi family, seized all the Pazzi properties and possessions and banned the existence of the Pazzi coat of arms. The one below is the only one that remains because the Medici respected the artist who created it - Donatello.
Our tour started in the courtyard and then through the main castle. Photos weren't allowed inside the castle rooms, because the family that owns the estate actually lives in the castle. This beautiful chandelier is from the dining room.
Then it was down into the wine cellars. The wine barrels were the biggest I have ever seen and there was so much wine! Can you see me in the third photo? I wasn't kidding about the size of those barrels!
We kept going down through stone hallways, the dungeons and the deepest parts of the castle. Perfect for
torturing your tour guide making wine.
We enjoyed walking around outside and soaking up the sunshine on the beautiful hilltop over looking the Tuscan countryside and Houston even managed to get a photo with our awesome bus driver, Christiano.
Then, with our bellies full, we boarded our bus to make our way to Venice. - That is next!!!
*** All images copyright Polka Dotted Blue Jay and HoustonLaney.com ***