Today I continue on with my recap of our trip to Italy. I want to remember this trip for forever, and this is how I’m documenting. 🙂 I’ve leave the scrapbooking to the craftier ladies among us.
From Venice, we took the train to Florence. Train travel is the way to go! We loved it. It’s so much more laid back than flying, and you get to see the beautiful scenery along the way. I wish I could travel around the U.S. this way, too. Car trips are not my favorite, but we end up taking a LOT of them. (Texas, why you so big?)
Anyway, first let me tell you about our accommodations in Florence. We did quite a bit of research for the trip and really liked each place that we stayed. For Florence, we choose a B&B at a convent. Yes, with actual nuns living there and running it. None of them spoke a word of English, but they had such pleasant smiles. I emailed before we left for our trip and asked if married couples were allowed. They replied that all are welcome, and we booked a double room. The B&B was just a couple of blocks from the Duomo and walking distance to all the major areas we wanted to visit. Perfect!
The inside was also very beautiful and even had a nice garden in the courtyard. When we got to our room upstairs, we were greeted by two twin beds on opposite walls. We just burst into laughter. Quite a second honeymoon. 🙂 I guess we should have known.
Florence was the city where we focused on art the most. The city itself is a work of art–sprawling red rooftops with a backdrop of luscious green mountains. Florence feels cleaner and slower-paced to me than other urban areas in Italy. It has a nice vibe and every angle is a great photo op. We reserved advanced tickets for the Uffizi and the Accademia (no lines = happy Kara). We spent the middle of our day in each gallery for two of the days we were there. The Uffizi is magnificent architecturally, not to mention the artwork inside. I was proud of Husband for recognizing The Birth of Venus from his Art History class in college. I ate a chocolate muffin on the second floor deck while we enjoyed a cool breeze. The museum is not air conditioned, so it gets a bit toasty. We spent a lovely evening exploring the area around the Ponte Vecchio, a famous bridge with shops built into it. We arrived just in time for these sunset views. Wowzer. It was as dreamy and romantic as it looks.
The Accademia the next day was awe-inspiring. It amazes me how sculptors took the time to craft the details of the clothes and capture facial expressions. It’s hard for me to imagine having the patience to meticulously create something that elaborate. Of course, the highlight was The David. The way he is placed in the gallery is perfect, because he’s on a tall platform right under a skylight. The sun streams through and highlights every beautiful angle of Michelangelo’s masterpiece. I loved what the description said about the statue.
“David is represented in a meditative pose following his victory over Goliath according to an unusual iconographic interpretation in which the young hero is not portrayed in his traditional pose of triumph with one foot on the severed head of the defeated giant. His sling is also barely visible as though to emphasize how David owed his victory not to brutal force but to his intellect and to his innocence.”
In Florence, we enjoyed some of the best food of the entire trip. This was my favorite pizza. The simplicity and freshness of the flavors…pure magic. I love the Italians’ cooking philosophy. They don’t get too fussy with a lot of ingredients. (More on this later when I recap our food tour in Rome.) I sadly didn’t get a picture of my favorite gelato. It was consumed whilst speed walking across Ponte Vecchio and back to the B&B to catch a taxi to the train station. It was strawberry (Fragola–a favorite Italian word of mine) and coconut—a dynamite combo, as it turns out.
Our last full day in Florence, we climbed the massive, narrow staircase to the top of the Duomo and looked out over the city. Having already done this once, I was a bit torn on whether or not I wanted to go for it again. The line was long, it was a hot day, and we could climb the neighboring tower with no waiting and be almost as high. But Bryan was determined, and who was I to stand in his way? So, we waited, and up we went. It was worth it. 🙂 I love this city, and exploring it with my Love meant the world to me. Ciao, Firenze. I hope we’ll be back someday.