Thursday, July 10, 2014

Florence - 3 night stay

The second stop on our very first time abroad in Europe, Florence remains one of my favorite cities to this day! We arrived off a local train in the late afternoon, and the first thing we noticed was how alive the city seemed. Everyone was out and about in the square, probably after a hard days work, not like back home where most people would have taken their seat on the couch for the night and flipped on the TV. All the restaurants had outdoor seating, and everyone seemed to be happy sipping their wine on this beautiful day.

main square Florence
The Main square in Florence

We checked into the hotel and then went back out and found ourselves a spot in one of these restaurants so we can join in on the fun. By now, we had learned that wine is cheaper than water in Italy, so we ordered ourselves a careen of red, followed by an amazing meal. We spent the remainder of the evening just walking around familiarizing ourselves with the area, and eating way too much gelato.

Italian Gelato
Gelato shops at every corner. Yum!

The next day, a friend of the family had arrived for us to receive a private tour of the Uffizi Gallery, and we really enjoyed the special treatment. The line must was incredibly long to get in and the wait must have been 2 hours, but we got to skip all that. It was only time ever in our travels that we received this type of thing, and we are still so grateful for the experience. The guide told us all about the famous paintings in the gallery, and even took us down a corridor overlooking the Ponte Vechio bridge that is usually closed off to the public!

ponte vecchio bridge Florence
Ponte Vecchio bridge at sunset

Now spoiled from this museum visit, we made the decision not to waste 3 hours in line the next day to see the official statue of David at the other museum, and instead took a picture of this replica in the Piazza Della Signoria.  We then got on the train and headed down to Pisa to see the leaning tower. Yes, this has become a cheesy tourist stop, with everyone posing on the lawn to get that famous picture of themselves pushing it up. And yes, we also participated in this! When in Rome...uh... Florence right?

Piazza Della Signoria David
This David replica in Piazza Della Signoria was good enough for us!

cheesy leaning tower of Pisa picture
I just had to!

We got our daily dose of gelato in Pisa and then headed back to Florence in time for another amazing dinner.

The last day, we climbed to the top of the famous Duomo, and really no more words are needed here as the pictures of this beautiful city speak for themselves:

Duomo climb florence
The start of the Duomo Climb

Duomo Florence
View from the Duomo Florence

view from the duomo Florence
Spectacular view from the top!

 Have you made the duomo climb in florence?

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