Monday, June 12, 2017

Bella Firenze!

On Wednesday, we piled in our big rented van and drove from Cannes to Florence when David got home from work. We didn't get to the hotel until about 2am. Impressively, we were up and on our way over to the Boboli Gardens the next morning.

The Boboli Gardens surround the Medici family's "modest" little house, the Pitti Palace. We got sweaty hiking up and down steep hills checking out these beautiful views of Florence. It was significantly hotter in Italy than it is in France!

The gardens were full of statues. Some were more aesthetically pleasing than others. 

After getting our fill, we crossed the Ponte Vecchio and walked into the heart of the city. It's not just a bridge- it's lined with jewelry stores on the bridge itself, and of course is filled with crowds of tourists.

Before visiting the Duomo, we had my favorite meal of the trip! I had gnocchi ai formaggi. It was magical! I also tried risotto for the first time when I sampled Jenna's. No surprise, that was also amazing. 

Even if Italy had terrible food, I would still visit for all of the art and beautiful cities. But instead, it has my favorite food in the world. Viva Italia.

I love the patterns on the outside of the Duomo.

The inside is fairly plain, except for the amazing paintings that cover the inside of the dome. 

Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance, so we had to keep the art theme going.  We didn't get to the Galleria dell'Accademia, which has Michelangelo's original statue of the David (and not much else). However, there is a replica outside of the Palazzo Vecchio. I had to get a picture my David with the David :)

There are some other statues outside too. I thought this one of the man holding a severed head was pretty special.

Next stop: the Uffizi Gallery- one of the best art museums in the world. Besides the famous paintings, the building itself had some beautiful ceilings!

Some of my favorite paintings I saw were by Botticelli.

There's a great view of the Ponte Vecchio through the museum windows! 

On the museum terrace, we had a nice view of the Palazzo Vecchio.

It was a BIG museum, and we were all dragging our feet by the end (despite the gelato sugar rush that we'd gotten just before entering). 

After the museum tour, mom and dad went to go chill at the hotel. The 4 of us still standing went to the baptistery that's outside of the Duomo. 

Um, wow. That's all I have to say about that. I think this was my favorite part of Florence. Besides perhaps the gnocchi.

David, Jenna, and Cabren decided to hike to the top of the cathedral's bell tower. I'm not a big fan of heights so I stayed safely on the ground. While they were gone I did lots of people watching, watched a wedding party take pictures, and tried my best to avoid pigeons and pickpockets. 

Another entertaining thing to do is observing these men illegally selling paintings (that are really just prints). They lay them all out on the ground. When police come by, they scoop all of them up and run away. The funniest part was that most of the prints were of Florence (makes sense), but every seller we saw also had prints of the Joker. Not seeing the correlation there.

We ate dinner at the European hour of 9pm. Me and David had already caved and eaten before then. He had enough strength to eat meal #2 (big surprise there), but besides not being hungry I was too tired to eat. 

Posing at the restaurant.

What a day in Florence! Beauty everywhere! I love this city. 

My dad being my dad, he described it a little differently. In his words, "I've never seen so many naked men (statues) in my life." haha

Coming up next- stopping by Siena on the way to Venice!

In case you missed it:
Houdeks in Geneva
Houdeks at a Swiss castle
Houdeks in Monaco
My first time in Florence 4 years ago

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