忍者龜 4 個角色的名字，取自文藝復興舉足輕重的藝術家：達文西（Leonardo da Vinci）、米高安哲羅（Michelangelo）、多那太羅（Donatello）和拉斐爾（Raffaello）。認清這 4 個藝術家的生卒年月和互相關係，誰影響過誰、誰跟誰共事過，有甚麼重要作品在哪個博物館，那麼在佛羅倫斯的行程便會簡單浮現。
我們首選放在學院美術館（Galleria dell’Accademia）內米高安哲羅的大衛像。相片看得多，但站在雕像腳下，才真正感受到一個 5 米多高的雲石大衛氣勢有多高昂，肌肉繃緊，手筋乍現，眼神盯著遠處的巨人歌利亞。大衛像原先計劃放在佛羅倫斯主教座堂頂，但重 6 噸多，最後決定放在巿政府門外的廣場，眼神直視羅馬方向，象徵人民自由不畏強權。
審美疲勞看膩了藝術品？攀上主教座堂穹頂看日落也是一個選擇，登頂時間要預先登記，但樓級路窄十分迫人。由主教座堂走半小時，跨過 Arno 河上米高安哲羅廣場小山丘，是另一個看日落的更好選擇。下山後，跑到巿政府後門附近的 All’Antico Vinaio 餐廳，來一份 Tuscany 火腿配松露醬三文治，坐在領主廣場（Piazza della Signoria）的雕像群中細味，聽著街頭音樂家演奏，文藝復興就像昨天的事那麼近。
Take a break at Cinque Terre／Kimberlogic
Cinque Terre is a region made up of five small towns just northwest of the Tuscany in Italy. The coastline, villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We were very excited to visit this area and do some hiking in the hills and along the coast after all of the Italian feasts we’d been having.
Roads for cars are almost non-existent throughout Cinque Terre. The train is the best way to visit this region. Since Cinque Terre is a very popular tourist destination, you can buy a day pass for the train which allows you unlimited trips between the five towns. Plus, the train ride between each town is only about five minutes. We were staying two nights in the town of Vernazza and planned to hike to a few other towns, so we only bought a single ticket.
Vernazza is a tiny, brightly colored, little town. It was a cloudy day with occasional rain showers when we arrived, but the vibrant colors of the buildings seemed to brighten the mood all around. After leaving the train platform, it takes about three minutes to walk down the entire main street to the Mediterranean Sea. Along the street we found souvenirs, pizza, gelato, coffee, bars and restaurants. Although the town is small, it had everything we needed.
Since the rain stopped shortly after we arrived, we began walking up the winding staircases of the town just to explore a little bit before dark. We found a beautiful lookout point where we could see most of the town and the coast, as well as the next town to the north. It was a beautiful view, but that would be our only view of Cinque Terre.
Unfortunately, the weather was not in our favor. Once we came down from the lookout point it began to rain heavily. There was rain and thunderstorms for the rest of our stay in Vernazza, so we weren’t able to do any of the planned hiking. Being stuck in a tiny tourist town and having to stay mostly inside there wasn’t much to do besides eat and drink.
Since Cinque Terre is on the coast, seafood can be found everywhere. We tried the local Vernazza specialty of stuffed mussels which were so fresh. The gelato shop in town made a special flavor using local Cinque Terre honey which was nice, but the forest berry flavor was better.
When we got bored of sitting inside, we would venture down to the coffee shop for an espresso and a quick, rainy walk down the main street. The weather was so bad that it kept the tourists away for the day. In the middle of the day and at night we owned the town, there was no one outside. Not being able to hike this region or seeing a sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea was disappointing, but getting to relax in the town and feel like a local made our time here totally worth it.