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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Florence in a Day

Yep, that’s right I basically visited Florence in a day. And I am satisfied with that. I visited the sites and got to enjoy a little flavor of the city. Mixed in with the “what I did there” part of the post will be a few tips of what I learned about visiting Florence. Future travelers take note!
On the way to Florence I found out that it is cheaper to a) Travel through Pisa {plus you can take a detour and visit the miracle tower} don’t go through Milan! b) Buy your ticket at each leg of the trip
When we woke up on Saturday we put on warm clothes {the weather station lied} and went across the street to the first café we saw. This was a good choice! I got a cappuccino {sorry but Torino has better ones} and my first pastry filled with blueberry. Surprise!

Then we headed to the Accademia to see David {make this the first of your day so you avoid long lines like us}. We referred to him as David, not the David. Clearly, we are on a first name basis. We didn’t have to wait too long to see him, and he was larger than life! And we traveled a little more around the museum before heading out.

They wouldnt let me take a picture of David, so here's typical FlorenceSee we had this plan and then we went searching for this mysterious bank {that we never found}. We went to this recommended place for calzones, and they were good…but I wouldn’t recommend it. Travelers get lots of food recommendations from the place you stay and then shop around a little.

We ate in front of the Duomo and then ventured inside. We did not climb it, I don’t regret this decision but if I were to go back I would. It’s free to go inside and see the vastness…its not to climb it. The place is huge and incredible inside. There’s this automatic loudspeaker that goes “Shhhh…silence…silence please” in Italian and English if it gets too loud inside. Admittedly, I almost started laughing.

Then we walked the streets headed for Dante’s house. It is amazing to me that there is still standing and intact a house of a famous person from so long ago, and in a place where hundreds of people live on top of each other.

From there we headed to the leather market. So many choices and colors! It’s an experience and I highly recommend going in even if you don’t buy something. On the edge of the market is the famous wild boar that you rub its nose for good luck. The kids were adorable as they timidly inched forward and then reached for the nose!

We decided to go to the Piazza Michelangelo because of the great views, and they were…but we had some adventures getting there. We went past the Uffizi {sorry all you art fans…} and across the river. We wanted to go to this church that we had heard was amazing and we followed the signs to a church. To the wrong church. It was a good walk, up a steep grade, and I probably wouldn’t have done it if I had known, but it was beautiful. The church was famous for being around since the 12th century and having some old panels…but not important enough for pictures.

the uffizi outside

So we walked down the steep grade and then up the second stairway to heaven {I’m exaggerating but at this point I wasn’t sure if we were going the right way} to a gorgeous look out. It had amazing views of the city. So amazing in fact, that we sat there for hours and concluded our lounging by watching the sunset. The pictures I have do not even compare.

We traveled back down the hill and went looking for a restaurant that was recommended. And we got a second recommendation for a pizza place called Gusta pizza. Second recommendations mean it’s really good! And I’m telling you that when you go there, this place is on your list to eat at. The man behind the counter joked with us which made my night! And…he made me a heart shaped pizza! Yummy!

After dinner we walked across the famous bridge the Nazi didn’t destroy looking to get waffles and gelato which seemed to be the “thing” in Florence. {Note if you aren’t by yourself share, you’ll be glad you did.}

And that was the adventures of a day in Florence!

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