River Arno, Pisa

Day 4. Pisa’s hidden gems

Our final day in Pisa and an opportunity to explore some of the city's less well known sights.  Our first stop of the day was the University of Pisa Botanical Gardens (Orto botanico di Pisa) nestled on the street behind its more famous neighbour, the Leaning Tower.  Admission to the gardens and botanical museum is …

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Leaning tower of Pisa

Day 3. Livorno & Pisa

We were up bright and early and after enjoying our second socially distanced breakfast in the hotel's restaurant we were ready to go.  Our original plan for the day was to take the train to Lucca but on discovering that replacement buses were operating on the route with a reduced timetable, we decided to change …

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View over Florence

Day 2. A day in Florence

After a good night's sleep we took the lift downstairs to discover what a post COVID-19 breakfast would be like.  At check-in we'd been informed that breakfast would take place in the restaurant as usual so we headed in there to find out what was on offer. To our relief, the buffet breakfast that we …

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Pisa riverside

Day 1. A weekend in Pisa

If I had a spring in my step a few weeks ago as I boarded my first long distance train for over four months, I was even more excited at the prospect of taking to the skies again.  As soon as travel restrictions had been lifted, we searched for flights and decided that a weekend …

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Day 14. Palermo, Sicily city centre walk

Our final day in Sicily began slowly with a leisurely breakfast on our shady balcony. As our British Airways return flight to London wasn't due to depart until 20.30 we had arranged a late check out, enabling us to have access to our apartment until late afternoon. We started the day with a stroll along …

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Day 13. Sferracavallo, Sicily

Wondering where to visit on our final full day in Sicily, I came across some photos of Sferracavallo which appeared to be an idyllic fishing village nestled below some rugged cliffs, so we decided to head there. It's located 13km north west of Palermo in the Capo Gallo Nature Reserve. It's quite close, but very …

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Day 12. Trapani, Sicily

We woke to yet another hot, sunny morning and decided to spend the day in the port city of Trapani. Getting to Trapani from Palermo is by Segesta Express bus and this service departs from the left hand side of the railway station. Return tickets cost €14.10 each and do not need to be purchased …

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Day 11. Mondello, Sicily

A lazy start to our Sunday morning with a relaxing breakfast out on our terrace. Feeling ready to set off, we wandered through Palermo's historic quarter, passing the vast Teatro Massimo and continuing along to the newer part of town with its designer shops. Soon, we arrived at the Teatro Politeama in the Piazza Ruggero …

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Day 10. Monreale, Sicily

Our plan for the morning was to visit the small town of Monreale which sits perched on a cliff top above the city of Palermo. Getting to Monreale is quite easy as AMAT Bus 389 departs from Piazza Independenza taking just 20 minutes to the hilltop town. When travelling on Italian buses it's necessary to …

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Day 9. Cefalu, Sicily

Our plan for the day was a trip to Cefalu, an easy 59 minute train journey from Palermo. Tickets cost €11.20 each return by regional train and we opted for the 9.38 a.m. service as the next departure was not for a further two hours. Our train departed on time and for the final 30 …

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