Florence was the first place we traveled to that didn’t involve waking up really early or arriving in the dead of night. It was great. And our hostel was one of the best of the trip- it looked like a hotel, was right down the street from the duomo, and the staff were so helpful. We relaxed on our first night, and then the next day headed out to see the city. Ally was staying with her friend, Sarah, who is living in Florence, but we met up in the morning so that Sarah could show us around. Of course, the first place that we went was the duomo because it was right there and so huge. It is seriously the biggest church I’ve ever seen, and so beautiful. This picture doesn’t do it justice.
Did I mention that the sun was finally out? It was so warm and wonderful. We saw a few more sights, including Palazzo Vecchio (where there’s a copy of David) and Ponte Vecchio, and then ventured up a giant hill to see an amazing view of Florence. It was a hike, but definitely worth it for the beauty from the top.
After that walk we deserved a good lunch, so we went to one of Sarah’s favorite places, where we got really delicious pasta for only 4 euros. It was so good we went back the next day, too. This is where I learned that in Florence, they don’t put salt in the bread. It’s a little weird, but if you dip the bread in sauce or olive oil, you don’t notice as much. We also went to a market to get a ton of vegetables for dinner, which we basically just threw in a pan and cooked, but they were so good. Vegetables, bread, and wine make dinner, right? And then the best part of my day. After dinner (and before, actually) we went to what is supposed to be the best gelato place in Florence. I deduced that this makes it the best gelato in the world because Florence supposedly has the best gelato in Italy, and Italy has the best gelato in the world. The first time I had pumpkin and cinnamon, which I loved, and the second time I had chocolate hazelnut and coffee, which was also fabulous. It was a great evening all around.
The next day I didn’t take many photos because we spent most of the day in museums. In the morning we went to the Uffizi to see tons of art, and I actually recognized some of it, which was impressive. The Birth of Venus is there, as well as many other famous works. In the afternoon, we went to Academia to see David, which was amazing. I wasn’t expecting to be in awe of a giant man made of marble, but I was. And the partially finished works leading up to it in the museum were cool, too.
Unfortunately, that was all the time I had in Florence. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy it, but it was a lot of fun. And it was great to have Sarah there to tell us about everything and make me appreciate all of the art even more. I hope maybe I’ll be back some day.