Friday, June 01, 2012

Italy Days 3-5: Florence

Florence was hands-down our favorite city. It is beautiful and so easy to navigate. We got everywhere by walking. It was less busy than Rome, and it was so fun just to walk around and admire all of the beautiful churches, occasionally stopping in to a little shop. We also absolutely loved the little hotel we stayed in; all of the staff members were so nice, and it was in a great location. We had planned to take a day trip from Florence to Lucca, but we loved Florence so much we just decided to stay there.

Sites Seen
Il Duomo
This was so beautiful, and the pictures definitely don't do it justice. We walked by it several times a day and were always gawking at it. 

The Baptistery
This ceiling was gorgeous. It was illustrated with Biblical stories, and Darby and I spent a long time identifying each story. 

Piazza della Signoria 
This plaza is home to a lot of statues, including a copy of the famous David statue. The real David is in an art gallery. We didn't feel like paying for tickets, so we decided the copy was good enough for us. :)

Palazzo Vecchio

Uffizi Gallery
This art gallery was huge and had tons of famous pieces. But, I think I've decided that art museums are a little like gardening for me. I want to be the type of person who likes art museums (and gardening), but, in reality, I'm not. I love other types of museums, but I don't have enough knowledge about art to truly appreciate it.

Piazza Santa Croce

Galileo Museum
We just happened to see this museum and thought it sounded interesting. It had a bunch of different scientific instruments (some belonging to Galileo), and it was actually interesting to me. The collection was very well-curated. Plus, I had just read a book about Galileo, Galileo's Daughter, so it was really cool to see some of the things I had read about.

Ponte Vecchio

Piazza Santa Maria Novella, etc.
I think we went to every piazza in Florence (and there were A LOT). It was fun to people-watch. 

Pitti Palace/Boboli Gardens

Piazzale Michelangelo
We had heard that this piazza offered the best view of Florence. I think that fact should have clued us in to the fact that the piazza would be on top of a very large hill, but we were oblivious. After huffing and puffing our way to the top, we did enjoy a pretty nice view. But, it might have been worth it to take the bus.

Lessons Learned
  • Trains in Italy have assigned seats. You'd think we might have noticed this the first time someone told us to move because we were in their seats. But, no, it took us about 3 times to realize all seats are assigned.
  • Walking through the Boboli Gardens is more of a garden hike than a garden stroll. 
  • If you are going to climb up a huge hill to enjoy the best view of the city, check the weather beforehand to make sure you won't get rained on the whole time you're up there. 
Favorite Memories
  • The waiter bringing out Darby's HUGE raw steak for him to approve before cooking it. That was the biggest steak I've ever seen. We ended up sharing it, and it was delicious. 
  • Buying a leather jacket for Darby from a street vendor. The guy was very nice and told us he'll be moving to Texas with his family soon. He was a little worried, though, because there are "so many guns in Texas." And, Americans always say Italy is dangerous! :) 
  • Seeing Il Duomo for the first time. 
  • Eating our huge "appetizer" plate at the wine bar by our hotel. 

1 comment:

Mary Kay said...

I had no idea you were taking this trip! How very exciting! We just returned from a 3 week trip...14 days in the Ukraine on a mission trip and then Larry and I had 10 days in London and Paris! It was amazing and it was fun to see what you did on your trip!!! I will try to post a blog soon! No promises!!! :)