Dave's Tuscany/Umbria/Venice Trip

June 1 - 9, 2010

1 EUR = $1.23 USD

The start date for my new job was pushed back from June 7th to June 14th, could I afford to let two weeks of precious potential travel time go unused? Hell no! But where on my to do list would be good to go at this time of year?

Bermuda seemed to be the only good fit, but I had just been on an island vacation to The Cook Islands...in the Sunday paper there was a Bertolli ad where you could register to win a trip to Italy, and when I went to register it made you watch a video- it featured Merissa Tomei, always easy on the eyes, and was set in Tuscany...
Inspiration can come from many places. I thought about it a few days then pulled the trigger.

Last minute logistics became even more complicated when the line was so bad at Austin airport that I missed my flight out. I took it in stride and was able to get a flight the next day, but going into Venice. So I would lose a day in the Siena region.

Tuesday 1st- Fly

Delta #1656 AUSTIN 1045am to ATLANTA 159pm
Delta #180 ATLANTA 500pm to VENICE ITALY next day 850am

Wednesday 2nd- arrive Italy/Siena

What was originally three flights to get into Florence was now only two flights, but then I had to take the train from Venice to Florence.

So a bus from the airport to train station, then the next train was sold out so had some time to kill. Sacrilege- my first meal in Italia is McDonalds. I also got to hang with these fellow Americans that also work in I.T.

From Florence take the bus to Siena.

Hotel Villa Liberty
#6 of 56
160 euro for 2 nights

I had the only single room in the place, which was about the same size and above the hotel entrance just like the place I stayed in Dublin. The lady at the front spoke excellent English and patiently answered all my questions, and even gave me an excellent free city map. It was a good location just outside of the old area of town, had free wireless, and from what I could tell they weren't going to charge me for the first night I had missed.
I was really pleased with my stay here.

This is the view I first saw on the bus on the way in. I remember a woman gasping, "Is THAT Siena?" it struck us first timers as that stunning.

I was tired, but strolled into town towards the main square- Piazza del Campo.

In the evening I made my way towards a place recommended in Lonely Planet, L'Osteria.
A small place, they sat me at the same table next to a couple. I of course had to get a dish with tartufo (truffles), and you the the ribbon pasta with black tartufo shaved on top. It was outstanding.
15.50 euro with a bottle of water. I would agree with what reviewers said- authentic, no frills.

And for dessert across the street got some gelato from Kopa Kabana.

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