Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Top 10 Italy Climbs

Torre del Mangia staircase, Siena
What is is about climbing something?  A good view from the top?  Getting a workout in?  Pretending that you are the first to do it?

There isn't a vertical tower in Italy that I don't want to conquer.  Here are a few of my favorite tower or hill climbs focusing on Tuscany and nearby:

1. Duomo, Florence (read Ross King's Brunelleschi's Dome before you do it...or after!)
2. Walk to Piazza Michelangelo and San Miniato Al Monte
3. Patrol path tour, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence 
4. Hiking the Ligurian coast (especially the cliff-hugging sanctuaries)
5. Torre del Mangia, Siena
6. Torre Guinigi, Lucca
7. St. Patrick's well, Orvieto
8. Leaning tower, Pisa (you've got to do it once)
9. The entire town of Montepulciano
10. Ramparts of Monteriggioni

Oldest RX Source in Europe Turns 400

Photo courtesy of
Congrats to Officina Profumo-Farmaceuticadi Santa Maria Novella for turning 400 years old!

Believed to be the oldest pharmacy in Europe (1221), this historic treasure offered balms and medicinal herbs to the church's monks and Florence's poor.  It's been in continuous operation ever since and now sells mostly perfumes, lotions, and chocolates. We missed this stop on our last visit to Florence, but wish we hadn't.  Happy birthday!