Of all the places in Italy I knew the least about Florence. I hadn't researched it at all before we left, but ended up falling in love!
We woke up & headed straight for the Accademia Gallery that morning. Like so many other days I did not feel overly excited to see yet another museum, even though I had loved all the others we had been to. I am sure if Jeremy had not been persistent that it was just around the corner from our hotel I may have just skipped out.. and what a shame that would have been..
Seeing the David was AMAZING!!!
(picture courtesy of jake & bri)
We were all so impressed by this famous sculpture. It's hard to describe, but to be able to create proportioned sculpture of such exquisite detail with only whatever hand tools Michelangelo had back then is unreal! I mean even the veins in his arms were so real looking. I also didn't realize how large it was at 17ft tall! Totally incredible seeing him in person. I was also interested to find out that it was sculpted after David from the bible. (most of you probably already knew that, but I never took art history so give me a break.)
After looking at some of the other sculptures we headed out in the streets of Florence to explore. We may or may not be buying gifts for our families in the picture below.
The guys split from the gals as we were doing a little too much shopping for them. Jeremy gave us directions on how to meet them at the Piazza del Duomo. I was nervous to find it & of getting lost, but you cant miss the huge Cathedral!
Isn't it just breathtaking?? The exterior is so gorgeous! The Catholics seriously know how to build insanely cool Cathedrals I gotta say. Of all the cool buildings, museums & cathedrals in Europe the outside of the Duomo is by far my favorite. I just love the color combination & detail of it all. Hence the million pictures of it..
As we were sitting on the steps I took individuals of the group. So meet the crew:
I went to great lengths to try & get a good picture of the Duomo :)
Here the boys are inside the Duomo tagging along with a school field trip.. haha
The inside was pretty bare compared to the outside of the building, but the painted ceiling & bright stain glass windows were really cool.
After spending most our morning at the Duomo we did what any normal person would do & got McDonalds for lunch! Ok really don't judge me though. The food is amazing in Italy but there is only so much bruschetta, pasta & pizza one can take! Even though I never eat at McDonalds in the states we just needed something familiar. I will say my nuggets & fries were delicious! :)
After lunch we walked down a couple blocks to rent scooters. When we arrived & the man running the place told us it would be better to rent bikes instead because we could get in trouble riding the scooters in town, so I veto-ed the idea. Not only was I wearing a skirt, but I am really not good on a bike. Plus in a foreign place with loads of people I was bound to crash or run into someone! Sorry crew for ruining the fun.. So we took taxi's out to the Rose Gardens.. which were closed. :( So we walked around the Piazzale Michelangelo where the David was originally & looked over the beautiful views of Florence.
And took a couple pictures..
You can see the top of the Duomo on the right.
The whole crew.. blocking the good scenery :)
As we were walking down toward the river I noticed something colorful all over the ground..
It was confetti from a wedding!
So naturally I did this..
Ok we may have got carried away, but who wants to waste perfectly good confetti? Not me!
The boys may have enjoyed it the most :)
We walked along the river to see the cute shops built on the bridge.
I love how they do this everywhere in Europe. They put locks with their names & dates meant that you are "locked" with your love forever. So sweet, Jeremy & I will totally take one next time we are in Europe :)
On our way back to the hotel we walked thru the Palazzo Vecchio which is the large town hall square with lots of sculptures. It was a really cool open space with lots of artists & small vendors.
Continuing on through the narrow streets to our hotel Jer & I found ourselves stopping in all the cool shops. He kept looking & wanting an old map but we never ended up buying one. Probably because there were too many to choose from.
I fell in love with this tiny vintage pinocchio puppet set. It seemed a little too expensive so I decided to think about it before I bought it. Of course it was closed when we went back to purchase it so this picture is all I have to remember it by :( I still have dreams about this little gem.
Back at our hotel we took a much needed nap. When we woke & were ready to head out for the night we realized our small camera was missing. I was especially heartbroken that it was stolen. (Unfortunately we had somehow left it safe & sound at home but would keep believing it was stolen the rest of the trip!)
We walked all over the place to find the perfect dinner spot & even moved from one place after Jake accidentally pulled Bri's chair out from under her & both her elbows were bleeding. We finally found a spot with meatballs & all ordered the special*. The food was delicious but of course we got scammed with the special not being on the menu & a lot more expensive than the other meals!
(I was trying to fit in with the Europe hairstyle, what do you think?)
After dinner we went & grabbed some recommended hot chocolate at a cute pastry shop with outdoor seating. I swear to you it must have been straight melted chocolate it was so thick. It ended up being $8 for one hot chocolate that I couldn't even finish! ha oh well you have to fall into the tourist traps at some point right?
After dessert we found ourselves watching a street Charlie. (a mime with the mustache, hat & cane)
It was entertaining even though we are pretty sure he was working with a crew pick pocketing people as they watched.
Right before our hotel we noticed this serial killer museum & thought what the heck it could be cool. Brooke & Vaughn had already headed to bed so Jake, Bri, Jeremy & I went on in. They gave you a headset that narrated in each room which had a video with pictures & set up from the specific serial killer. (Ex. bottom right of Ted Bundy)
All in all it was very interesting/entertaining but also very very creepy! Not really a great idea to go to bed scared in a foreign country. haha
Florence was such an amazing place! If I could choose one place in Italy to live it would be here. It is such a lovely place with a cool laid back vibe. I hope I get to go back someday.
(photos 1,2,3,4,23,24,37,39,52,53,54,55,56 courtesy of Bri)
Man thats a lot of pictures.. 56!
Next up Lake Como!