Florence, Pisa and The Grand Tour

Florence & Pisa

Florence is as beautiful as it is busy. The attractions in Florence are amazing, the main cathedral the Duomo is incredible. The construction started in 1236 and took an astonishing 200 years to complete, in 1436. It get busy so go early morning or late at night to avoid the crowds.

Pisa: what you see is what you get – insert cliche Pisa posing shot.

The Grand Tour – Italy and Greece

No not the long awaited Top Gear spin off. The Grand Tour takes its meaning from the noble adventures the aristocratic classes took in from the 17th century from England to Italy and Greece. Think gap yah darling.

In pursuit of a well rounded classical education, our well heeled friends had the pleasure of touring Ancient Greek ruins, learning classical languages, painting and acquiring worldly goods. Often trips would take years at a time and the exclusively male clientele would return to England as learned men – how lovely Tarquin!

Some learned men pontificating

Fortunately for everyone else, the advance of the railways in the 1840s and wait for it, some guy called Thomas Cook (yes I didn’t realise he was actually a real person!) and the travel company by the same name opened up travel for the masses. Today travel like this doesn’t cost the earth as it did back then. Travel is a much more accessible beast, giving delights of Ancient Rome and the Old World as it once did, just without the unlimited expense, swords and groovy hairdos.

So… go book that trip you are putting off!


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