Travel: Florence, Italy

After our time in Venice, we made our way back inland.  Stopping briefly in Ferrara (just long enough for me to buy more socks & a light jacket -- it was so cold!) & across the Apennine Mountains into Tuscany, we arrived in Florence, "Cradle of the Renaissance".

We only had about a day and 1/2 in Florence and it rained a good portion while we were there (thus the drab photos), but I was still glad we got the chance to see a sliver of Florence.  Like Rome, I was a bit turned off by all the tourists and street vendors, but getting to see these views made up for the crowded streets.

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

When we first arrived in Florence, it was late-afternoon and raining.  We walked through Piazza Santa Croce & did the perfect activity for a rainy afternoon... we went shopping!

Travel: Piazza Santa Croce,  Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

We were definitely enticed by all the Florentine leather goods & jewelry.  I got to model a 750 Euro coat at Misuri that felt like butter.  I didn't walk away with the jacket, but Zac purchased a new belt & money clip.  He had them both stamped with his initials in gold leaf -- practical keepsakes from our time in Florence.

Misuri | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Misuri | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

We ended our first evening in Florence with dinner at Casa Toscana where we were served a dinner of local specialties accompanied by a large selection of wines.  It was delicious!

Casa Toscana | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Casa Toscana | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days


Day Two in Florence started bright & early with a guided walking tour of the Academy of Fine Arts where we got to see Michelangelo's David.  Photos don't do it an ounce of justice, it's really amazing in "real life" and quite massive.

Michelangelo's David | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Michelangelo's David | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Michelangelo's David | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

After that, we wandered throughout Piazza della Signoria.

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Then we admired the Florence Cathedral, Giotto's Bell Tower (which we would later climb!), and the Baptistry's heavy bronze "Gate of Paradise"

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Gate of Paradise | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Then we found a snack:

Gelato | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days











We decided to get a bird's eye view of Florence & climb Giotto's Bell Tower, which is a free-standing structure that is part of the complex of buildings that make up the Florence Cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo.  It's 414 steps & is not recommended for people who suffer from heart problems, vertigo, or claustrophobia... but I did it anyway :)

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Giotto's Bell Tower | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

After that trek, we worked up an appetite & had a yummy lunch before exploring more of Florence.

Pizza | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days




























Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
We found the bronze beast who eats the coins of visitors who come asking for good luck & walk away rubbing the snout the pig making it golden & shiny.


Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Next, we walked over the Ponte Vecchio, which during World War II, was the only bridge across the Arno River that the German's did not destroy. 

Ponte Vecchio | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Ponte Vecchio | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

The bridge is lined with shops on either side, and while we were on it, we happened to catch a parade.

Ponte Vecchio | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days


Ponte Vecchio | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Ponte Vecchio | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Ponte Vecchio | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

After a full day exploring the city, we enjoyed the taste, smell & hospitality of Tuscany with dinner at Ristorante I Tre Pini, which was easily the BEST MEAL of our entire trip.  I am still dreaming about that ravioli in truffle sauce. 

Ristorante I Tre Pini | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Ristorante I Tre Pini | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Also, they serve the BEST wine I've ever had.  We ended up ordering two cases of wine to have shipped home (our favorites were the Italian Sparklers: Volare, Blumond, Splendia -- and all but one bottle is sadly all gone). 

Fratelli Saraceni Wine | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

My fondest memory in Florence was that meal.  Not only was the food & drink spectacular, but the people we were with made it memorable as well.

Up next, Pisa!
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Did you read about our time in Rome: here, here and here?
What about Assisi & Venice?
And don't forget about the colorful Burano Island!

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