The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.


Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Piazza della Signoria

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city , I have been there 3 or 4 times and can’t wait to visit again. I saw a lot of the city and surrounding areas thanks to my good friend Francesca.

Piazza della Signoria is an L-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. It was named after the Palazzo della Signoria, also called Palazzo Vecchio. It is the focal point of the origin and of the history of the Florentine Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political hub of the city. It is the meeting place of Florentines as well as the numerous tourists, located near Ponte Vecchio and Piazza del Duomo and gateway to Uffizi Gallery.

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Replicas of Michelangelo’s David have been made numerous times, in plaster, imitation marble, fibreglass, snow, and other materials. There are many full-sized replicas of the statue around the world, perhaps the most prominent being the one in the original’s position in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy, placed there in 1910. The original sculpture was moved indoors in 1873 to the Academia Gallery in Florence, where it attracts many visitors. Others were made for study at art academies in the late nineteenth century and later, while the statue has also been replicated for various commercial reasons or as artistic statements in their own right. Smaller replicas are often considered kitsch.

Florence’s Cathedral: the Duomo.

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Florence’s cathedral stands tall over the city with its magnificent Renaissance dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The cathedral named in honor of Santa Maria del Fiore is a vast Gothic structure built on the site of the 7th century church of Santa Reparata, the remains of which can be seen in the crypt.

On Ponte Vecchio the Old Bridge.

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

The Ponte Vecchio  is a Medieval arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common in the early days. Butchers initially occupied the shops however the tenants now are jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. The Ponte Vecchio’s two neighbouring bridges are the Ponte Santa Trinita and the Ponte alle Grazie.

Ponte Vecchio in Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city 

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

The bridge spans the Arno at its narrowest point where it is believed that a bridge was first built in Roman times, when the via Cassia crossed the river at this point. The Roman piers were of stone, the superstructure of wood. The bridge first appears in a document of 996. After being destroyed by a flood in 1117 it was reconstructed in stone but swept away again in 1333  save two of its central piers, as noted by Giovanni Villani in his Nuova Cronica. It was rebuilt in 1345.

Ponte Vecchio, the Old Bridge.

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Below you will see how the road near the bridge collapsed on May 26 2016.

Sink hole

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Disaster strikes and 20 cars sink into the ground. It was very lucky it did not occur closer to the bridge.

View from Piazzale Michelangelo.

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Probably one of the most photographed scenes in the world.

Piazzale Michelangelo.

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Piazzale Michelangelo (Michelangelo Square) is a famous square with a magnificent panoramic view of Florence, Italy, and is a popular tourist destination in the Oltrarno district of the city. The famous view from this observation point overlooking the city has been reproduced on countless postcards and snapshots over the years.

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Palazzo Vecchio from Uffizi Gallery.

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city 

The Vecchio Palace with its huge clock tower, is one of the most architecturally interesting buildings in the city of Florence.

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city 

Artist at work in Florence.

David Herd with “Loggia del Porcellino”

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city 

Popular tradition has it that rubbing the nose brings fortune, so over time, the statue has acquired a certain shine in that spot. Visitors are encouraged to place a coin in the mouth of the boar after rubbing its nose, and superstition implies that the wish will be granted if the offering tumbles through the grate whence the water flows. The slope of the grate is such that most coins do fall through, and are collected by the city.

A beer with my friend Francesca.

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city 

Francesca & I first became friends when we met in Koh Samui Thailand in August 1999. The next photo is a flashback.

Koh Samui Thailand in August 1999.

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Great memories from Koh Samui in 1999, my how time flies when you are having fun.

Caffè Italiano

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

Here is Francesca at Caffè Italiano, Via Isola delle Stinche, 11R-13R in Florence. Without a doubt this is the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life. You can’t book at this small restaurant, you must wait outside in the lane until there is a free table, believe me however, the wait is worth it.

I rest my case

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city

If I remember correctly the magician who makes them is originally from Naples.

The Master Chef at Caffè Italiano

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city 

I certainly have never had a better pizza.

Brazilian dinner in Florence in 2000.

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city 

This was April 2000 we enjoyed a Brazilian dinner in Florence. I’m on the left, then comes Barbara, Franco, Francesca & Andrea.

David Herd & Barbara Manelli in April 2000

Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city


Memories of this beautiful Italian lady will stay with me for a long time.

Thanks for visiting my Florence Tuscany beautiful Italian city photo blog.

Pattaya Hilton

Pattaya hotels, Hilton & Holiday Inn

This is the view from Horizons the amazing rooftop bar. A great five star hotel located opposte the beach & above the Central Festival shopping mall. Just book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate. 

 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

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 That’s all folks

1g Duck


Pattaya live webcam
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zulu928's Florence album on Photobucket

Author: David Herd

My history, particularly over the last 30 years is dominated by overseas travel. I sold my home in Australia October 20th 2011 and have have been living in Thailand since then. I don’t know where the time has gone? It seems like you go to sleep one night, wake up the next morning, and 20 years have flashed by. Not sure how many years I have left, however I have enjoyed a wonderful charmed life, and if it all ended today I would leave this world with no regrets. I was born in Sydney halfway through the last century, started my travels in the 60s with the usual U.K. Europe adventure at the age of 20, back to Australia and worked in Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide in Sales & Marketing with multinational companies including Sanyo, Canon & Remington. Engaged to be married 3 times and never quite made it to the alter, finally realized by the mid 90s I was not cut out for "long term relationships" so I moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland in January 1987, worked for a couple of banks as a Financial Planner, I took a year off work in 1998 to travel and never went back to full time work again, after 25 fun filled years on the Coast I packed up and moved to Thailand. What is the purpose of this blog? Well I really want to use it to record my travel experiences & to display my photographs, give and receive travel tips, comment on places I visit, restaurants I eat in and use it to replace the autobiography I intended to write, apart from all that it helps me fill in my day. :) I moved to Thailand mainly because I wanted to keep travelling while my health allowed me to, there are huge advantages being closer to all the places I want to visit. Cost of living in Thailand is around 35% of the cost in Australia, plus flights are 50% cheaper because you are much closer to everywhere. ???? Consequently I am able to travel to many more places compared to living in Australia. Having said all that, it is & has always been my intention to return to Australia when my travelling is finished, I predict this will happen around 2021.

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