Florence- the city in which the renaissance was born. In other words- lots of beautiful art! We stayed at Hotel Abaco. Despite the fact that it is on the fourth floor (no elevator as the building was constructed in the 1500's), it was reasonably priced, free wifi and breakfast, and I loved the fun decor and pleasant owners.
Florence was our second destination, just a quick hour and a half train ride from Venice. We did a little roaming our first afternoon there. Again, Florentine's make their way around on foot and we found our way to the Piazza della Signoria (lots of beautiful statues and tourists and people selling selfie sticks).
We made the many stair-ed treck up to the Piazzale Michelangelo. The best view of Florence! (who doesn't love the panoramic setting in the iphone camera?)
It's important to know if you go to Florence, the big art museums (Academia and the Uffizi) are closed on Mondays, which was our second day in Florence. So, we took advantage of the closeness of Pisa, and took a half day trip to see that one tower that kind of leans. But before that we did some more walking around Florence, bought some famous Florence leather and fed the lucky boar- fountain.
More stairs. Roughly 300 to be exact. Yes, we paid extra money to climb more stairs, but there aren't too many that can say they climbed the tower of Pisa! and yes, another great view! But that laughable barrier between myself and tumbling over the edge was terrifying to me, which is why Josh and I's photo isn't as daring as my parents. Apparently I'm afraid of heights? A little bit anyways.
Day 3 in Florence included an all day (you guessed it) walking tour of Florence including skipping the horrible lines to see Michelangelo's David in the Academia and Botticelli's Birth of Venus at the Uffizi. Besides viewing the amazing artwork, our guide filled us in with the amazing history of Florence and took us through the Famous Duomo of Florence and the Ponte Vechio.
During the Renassaince, artists prefered to present themselves within their art rather than add a signature. This is an example in the back of the head of Benvenuto Cellini's Perseus with the Head of Medusa. Can you see Cellini's face?
You may not be into the art, but I would still recommend the tour for the history. Besides, even if you aren't into the art, David is still an amazing sight. We were all shocked at how truly impressive it is. Did you know that unlike other artists at the time, Michelangelo used no measurements for his sculptures. He spent weeks viewing a piece of marble to see what he believed the marble was destined to be. He didn't approach the marble with a vision, he believed the sculpture would reveal itself to him during his work (must see the unfinished works of Michelangelo in the Academia). In fact, the piece of marble Michelangelo used to create David was a broken piece that no other artist deemed worthy of becoming a piece of art. But Michelangelo was cocky, and said this was no problem for him. And now that broken piece of marble is possibly the most famous sculpture in the world!? So, yeah, I like the art stuff ;)
So that was ou
r brief visit to Florence.
Need some restaurant recommendations? No? Well here are some anyways. More Gnocchi(!) and a glorious plate of meat and cheese (my favorite meal of the trip) in the right photo belong to La Fettunta. Josh and I stood in line for 30ish minutes waiting for Florence's number 2 restaurant according to Trip Advisor, All' Antico Vinaio. A yummy and unique subway-esque sandwhich shop. The left is a yummy pizza that I don't remember where from :/
I was going to wait until next week to post this, but I can't. Perhaps you are getting tired of my Italy hype. But it hasn't even been a week since I was there, OHMY... I have to keep looking at proof that I was there. Much love for you, Italy. Next stop! Roma...