The return journey home began today, returning to Cremona for an overnight stay, stopping en route in Florence.

To us, having been here before, its reputation far exceeds its reality. The Duomo is beyond description. Many of the piazzi are beautiful. However, the streets in and around these beautiful locations are overcrowded with tourists, blighted by vehicles pushing their way through, African rubbish touts trying to sell (or steal) whatever they can and every pavement café hiking their prices and providing worse service than a badly run McDonalds.

The queues for visits inside the Duomo are typically Italian. Long lines to buy the entry ticket, but not entry. You queue again at the entrance. We only had 4 hours. Wouldn’t have been enough! Coaches are required to park at some far flung point alongside the River Arno (miles from Ponte Vecchio), and a good 15 minutes from anywhere else worth seeing.

I’m sure if you weren’t a day-tripper and could enjoy the sights in early morning or late evening when the crowds have gone, it would be completely different. For a day trip? Not really.

We arrived at our hotel in Cremona around 6:45pm. It’s said, “You can’t get a bad meal in Italy”. Tonight, the hotel did its best to prove the adage wrong. Pasta? Not so bad. Main course? Beyond polite description!

We have to set off tomorrow at 7am for a 1000km (+) journey to Laon, Northern France. Should be fun!!

Cremona via Florence

Wednesday, 14 September 2022