Thursday, June 4, 2015

2 days in Florence, Italy

Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life - Anna Akhmatova

We travelled by train from Venice to Florence and we arrived to a city rich in culture and history, the home of the Renaissance and birthtplace of the modern world.

After buying the Firenze card to avoid lines our fist stop was the Campanelli di Giotto, 414 steps later we made it to the top, which offers breathtaking views of Florence. We ate gelato and strolled around and finished the day with chiantti from Castello di Verrazzano.

We started our second day at Galleria dell'a Accademia where we admired Botticelli's Birth of the Venus and the famous David,  an epic moment David meeting Michalangelo's David. After touring the crowded Accademia, we walked through the Piazza de la Signoria and went to the Uffizi gallery, considered the greatest collection of Italian paintings anywhere in the world.

Just around the corner from Uffizi gallery is the famous Ponte Vecchio, where you can find many jewelries.  We took a break at the Piazza de la Repubblica, where we got drinks at the Hotel Savoy and relaxed with the carrousel in the background.

Almost forgot, we also went to the baptisery, the famous Door to Paradise and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the main church of Florence.  We visited the Medici tombs, the Florence's great ruling family, designed and carved by Michelangelo.

I loved the food and the chiantti.   We ate at Cantinetta del Verazzano, they serve Tuscan dishes with typical tuscan wines such as Vin Santo and Chianti.  We went back for coffee and pastries.  We also had coffee at Caffe Scudieri, at Piazza San Giovanni with a perfect view of Santa Maria Della Fiore.

We went to La proscuitteria for a meat and cheese plate and of course crostini with pate. It is a tiny gem with low prices and good house wine.  There are many bars nearby.  Of course we ate gelato, my favorite was from Grom, located conveniently close to our hotel.

I am not good with crowds and when we were there the city was full of big tourist groups, we did our best to avoid them but still I felt overwhelmed by the amount of people we encountered.  I did not enjoyed the city and I want to back to do it all over again and explore Tuscany.  I will go back.

David (Michelangelo) Florence

Panoramic view of Florence from Campanile

Baptistery dome and detail of the "Gates of Paradise". Florence

Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Florence

David at Florence

Ponte Vecchio and Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Florence

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