This morning we said goodbye to Florence after a four night stay in the wonderful city. It was the longest we’ve been in one city so we got to unpack a bit more. We stayed in a pretty local area, but still within a 15 minute walk from all attractions. The city was crowded with people, so not as many pictures during this leg of the trip, but it was our favorite city so far. It has art/culture, lots of great gelato, beautiful churches, charming piazzas, kind people, really good food, and really good wine. We learned that Florence has about 4,000 Americans who live in the city so they’ve adopted a few American traditions and holidays (Thanksgiving, Halloween, etc.).
Day 1 (Saturday): climbed over 400 steps to the top of Duomo to get the most spectacular view of the city, almost immediately after stepping off the train. Toured the museum there as well. Dinner at a young Florentine bar and then we explored the area of Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge). Lots of romantic views and huge crowds for people watching.
Day 2 (Sunday): explored the Pitti Palace (home of Medici family who founded and ruled over Florence) and the Boboli Gardens behind the palace. It was very hot and there was a lot of walking but it was like something out of a fairytale. We had a three course lunch paired with wine across the street which gave us a great opportunity to relax and cool off. The food was so good! We napped off our boozy lunch then went out to see more of the city, including the Piazzale Michelangelo. We had a light dinner at a wine bar that was full of locals and shared a salami plate and, of course, more wine.
Day 3 (Monday): wine, wine, wine! We booked a Tuscan wine tour with a sommelier and the owner of the company is a Master Sommelier. Our tour guide was hilarious, went to GA Tech so we all had a good laugh about her learning words like “fixin’ to” and “y’all” during her first encounter with the U.S. We visited two wineries and went to lunch in a village outside of Florence. This food was my favorite because our guide ordered classic Florentine style dishes, which were hearty and full of flavor. We were so full that we just had a light dinner at the Mercato Centrale and finished with gelato!
Day 4 (Tuesday): this was museum and walking day. We hit the Uffizi, Accademia, Santa Croche Church, and Galileo Museum (full of science and math). In between these world-renowned sites of Renaissance art, we did plenty of shopping. Florence is known for perfume (the women here smell amazing), paper goods, and leather goods. Finding legitimate shops is a little tricky because there are so many tourist traps claiming authentic products with outrageous prices. We ate sandwiches on the street for lunch and this was one of the best decisions we made the whole week! For dinner we finally got Florentine steak since they are known for their T-Bone. My mouth is still watering as I think about it.
We are heading out now to our next city and hope to take today easy to give our leg muscles a break.