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December 8, 2009

That glorious historic center of Florence, where every door you open is like flipping up the cover of  an exquisite jewelry box–is not the most pleasant place to stroll about. Sidewalks are narrow, vespas roar. Once, across from Santa Croce, to my horror, a pigeon showered me.

So when I have the craving to really WALK, I cross the Arno and wind up a curvy route to Piazzale Michelangelo. Early morning or sunset is best.  You catch your breath as you look down upon the domes and red roofs of this beloved place.

Take the extra steps to walk behind you and find the Church of San Miniato–one of Italy’s prettiest from the 11th century. Last time I was there in the early morning there were monks singing vespers in the crypt down below. Upstairs it was just me and these beautiful images:

You’ll feel refreshed. Wind down the hill to the San Niccolo area, and stop by the cozy L’Enoteca Fuori Porta, one of Florence’s newest wine bars (from 1987), that serves over 200 selections from all over the world.

Above: A recipe for how to feel heavenly.

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