I am a Wanderlust Princess

Traveling the world one giant Louboutin Heel at a time

Florence, Italy, Trips

Florence: The Beautiful Tuscan Capital

smChurchI have long dreamed of Florence ( Firenze) . The center of the Renaissance, the home to the masters of Art ( Galileo, Davinci,Michelangelo,Donatello), and the seat of power for the Medici Family. Full of art, life, beauty, and masterful designer houses, Florence has a lot to offer. Within her walls, dripping with history, it’s very easy to walk the path of the greats, and feel transported back in time.

Having left Venice, The Floating Kingdom of Opulence around 11 in the morning, we had a lovely 2 hour train ride from our beloved Venezia on  Italo Treno, one of 2 major Italian train lines. We had booked Prima class, which is an equivalent to flying business class, and it was very comfortable. A little mishap with our gigantic suitcases ( too Much shopping) as the coach #2 ( where we were seated) we entered into didn’t have a luggage rack, so a kind gentleman helped me lift and stow our luggage away. Seated and super comfortable, I enjoyed the lovely ride on this super fast train. Its final destination was Napoli.

Prima class is very spacious. In a 2 and 1 configuration. They also offer a very light snack and drink for your journey complimentary. It is definitely different than Spains Ave RENFE trains ( see Spain: A tapas of beautiful people and landscapes) where business class offers a full meal, Cava, and leather seats, but it was nice nonetheless.img_20180506_122150_271

We arrived a little past the 13hr at Santa Maria Novella Station.

It was super busy and a bit chaotic but that just added to all the excitement.

Upon exiting the station we turned left and caught a taxi to our apartment. Our driver was a lovely lady who was giving us two gems great advice for shopping.. Ummm we did enough.

Wow, Florence is packed with people and absolutely amazing. After living a relatively quiet life in Venice, The Floating Kingdom of Opulence for 6 days, with zero sounds of cars, and peaceful nights, it was quite a shock to hear all the sounds again of traffic, and to see so many people on the move.

Everywhere you look there is some gorgeous architecture, statues and sights. I didn’t expect it to be so compact. The shopping is endless here, and I feel we may be in big trouble. While there are many cars here, only locals living within the city is allowed to drive here. There is a special sticker or something that alerts.

There are so many different ways to visit Florence , especially when crunched on time. For 85 Euros, you can purchase the Firenze Card, and see a multiple number of museums, skipping the lines within 72 hours. Had we only been there for a few days, I probably would’ve purchased it out right. However, being there a week, I wanted to space our visits to sites throughout the week, so as not to feel pressured to quickly see things. I may have missed out on a few savings, but I saved in time, energy, and peace of mind. For more information on the Firenze Card: See….Firenze Card

Please see at the bottom of this post, links to the official sites I used to book my pre-arranged time slots at many of the sights in Florence.

Day 1

It’s Sunday in the city, a day of rest, but no one told the thousands of tourists that , as they were everywhere. Soon, while dodging relentless tourists trying to stay on car paths, at our apartment.

We are staying in Piazza Santo Stefano. A quaint little piazza with a church. Our apartment is up on the top floor and fortunately with an elevator, well actually, an elevator to the last floor and one flight of steps up to the Penthouse.

I can’t believe how gigantic this apartment is. We each have a bedroom, a large common area and dining room, full kitchen and 2 bathrooms. But the highlight of the apartment is the spacious wrap around balcony with views of the Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio tower and of this fabulous city. What a score. You can see where I stayed at :Florence Airbnb

view-from-Apartment

We quickly unpacked and made ourselves at home and promptly thereafter headed out the door for nearby Piazza Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio.

Wow the splendor and beauty of this jam-packed square. Sculptures are everywhere and is a testimony to the great and talented artists of its time.

I was in awe. I’m a huge Medici fan and to see the Palazzo and nearby Uffizi just dropped my jaws to the ground. I still can’t get over how close everything is. When I was planning my trip I thought I would be doing monstrous walks, but Florence really is a very compact city.

Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza Signoria

The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, Italy. It overlooks the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo’s David statue as well as the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi.

In 1299,[1] the commune and people of Florence decided to build a palace that would be worthy of the city’s importance, and that would be more secure and defensible in times of turbulence for the magistrates of the commune. Arnolfo di Cambio, the architect of the Duomo and the Santa Croce church, began construction upon the ruins of Palazzo dei Fanti and Palazzo dell’Esecutore di Giustizia, once owned by the Uberti family. Giovanni Villani (1276–1348) wrote in his Nuova Cronica that the Uberti were “rebels of Florence and Ghibellines“, stating that the palazzo was built to ensure that the Uberti family homes would never be rebuilt on the same location.[1]

The cubical building is made of solid rusticated stonework, with two rows of two-lighted Gothic windows, each with a trefoilarch. In the 15th century, Michelozzo Michelozzi added decorative bas-reliefs of the cross and the Florentine lily in the spandrels between the trefoils. The building is crowned with projecting crenellated battlement, supported by small arches and corbels. Under the arches are a repeated series of nine painted coats of arms of the Florentine republic. Some of these arches can be used as embrasures (spiombati) for dropping heated liquids or rocks on invaders.

Engraving of a map depicting the palazzo and square with the corridor, by Stefano Buonsignori, 1584

The solid, massive building is enhanced by the simple tower with its clock. Giovanni Villani wrote that Arnolfo di Cambio incorporated the ancient tower of the Foraboschi family (the tower then known as “La Vacca” or “The Cow”) into the new tower’s facade as its substructure;[1] this is why the rectangular tower (height 94 m) is not directly centered in the building. This tower contains two small cells, that, at different times, imprisoned Cosimo de’ Medici (the Elder) (1435) and Girolamo Savonarola (1498). The tower is named after its designer Torre d’Arnolfo. The tower’s large, one-handed clock was originally constructed in 1353 by the Florentine Nicolò Bernardo, but was replaced in 1667 with a replica made by Georg Lederle from the German town of Augsburg (Italians refer to him as Giorgio Lederle of Augusta) and installed by Vincenzo Viviani.

Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici (later to become grand duke) moved his official seat from the Medici palazzo in via Larga to the Palazzo della Signoria in May 1540, signalling the security of Medici power in Florence.[2] When Cosimo later removed to Palazzo Pitti, he officially renamed his former palace to the Palazzo Vecchio, the “Old Palace”, although the adjacent town square, the Piazza della Signoria, still bears the original name. Cosimo commissioned Giorgio Vasari to build an above-ground walkway, the Vasari corridor, from the Palazzo Vecchio, through the Uffizi, over the Ponte Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti. Cosimo I also moved the seat of government to the Uffizi. Courtesy of Wikipedia

piazza-Signoria

I had pre-purchased 2 tickets for the Palazzo Vecchio and in we went. My goodness just the entry alone is grand and beautiful. The whole tour of the palace and its grand hall was spectacular. The frescos alone were enough to send my lite mind spinning. Truly truly beautiful. We had tickets for the tower, but so did everyone else, ans we were in no mood to wait in a long line. It was already past 3 pm and I haven’t had my daily pasta fix yet. There are numerous types of tickets you can purchase, and should I ever return, I will definitely do the hidden halls and passageways of the Palazzo that lead you up and over the Ponte Vecchio all the way to the Piti Palace. Alas, time was not on our side today.

Tickets: Palazzo Vecchio

We decided it was time for something to eat,if there was anything open.

When we exited the side entrance, something caught my eye. GUCCI Garden museum. Omg I just had to. While I enjoyed shopping their exclusive line, I’m going to save the museum for another time.. Btw its 8€ to see the museum.

We walked for a bit and popped into a restaurant that was still serving. In fact, it kept serving as many people came in to sit and eat. I ordered a risotto with powerful aged cheese and we shared a Burrata and prosciutto salad. Mmmmm oh I mustn’t forget the chianti. 🙂20180506_164040

While we were eating I noticed across the street was the famous Botolucci Pinichio shop. Boy did I just geek out like a kid. Of course we stopped in for a peak.

I decided that since I’m completely overwhelmed with this amazing city, that I would like to go and find some peace at the much-anticipated Santa Maria Novella Oficina. On our way there we passed a ton of leather vendors and little stalls selling all sorts of things until we came to Piazza Republic and turned down this grand structure heading towards Santa Maria Novella Church.

I feel like I’m reading Vogue magazine and watching these beautifully dressed super models pop out from its pages. I’m in awe with the style and fashion of the Italian people but wow Florence really knows how to do it right. If I hadn’t gained 10 pounds already in 6 days, I’d attempt to shop for clothes, but alas I’m stuck with only jewelry, and craftsmanship items 😦

Finally the breath-taking Santa Maria Novella Church came into view and that means that the store is only a minute away.Santa Maria Novella Church

Santa Maria Novella Store is in an inconspicuous location. But once you open that door and step inside its beautiful marble entry way, and smell the beautiful air, you know you’ve come to the right place. The store is beautiful and a museum itself. I found myself parting ways with a lot of Euros. I’m so glad we fame here.

We decided to head back and Debra wanted to shop at the insanely packed Zara. I decided to stay outside and enjoy a cigarette amongst the madness.. The weather is stunning and so very comfortable, in fact it reminded me of the weather back home in Hawaii.

After she got her fix we thought to indulge in our daily Gelato. However this one came with a surprise an extra 4 € surprise 6.5€ for a Gelato… One scoop. I should’ve asked, but I was so used to the €2 price in Venice. Lesson learned.

Our host told us to cross over Ponte Vecchio as there is a little super market. We wanted to stock up on some supplies for the house. Our host said that while the water is safe to drink here, its probably better to buy bottled water. We also stocked up on some yogurt, milk and fruits as we wanted to eat a bit more healthy for breakfasts instead of a pastry. Heck we are trying to do everything to get back our figure we came here with despite the miles of walking and climbing we do every day. We also picked up a Brunello and a PROSECO, probably not helping either, but we wanted to sip our wine from the veranda .

While I looked around Ponte Vecchio and saw the water, it was way to crowded for me to enjoy, so I just kept walking and knew that we will see it very early in the morning with rhe hope that it will be more peaceful and quiet.

Home, showered, and astounded that the washing machine is still washing our clothes some 6 hours later and is still washing it some 9 hours later.. Omg when will it end? We want to hang it and go to bed…. Ufffff.

And so ends our short but awesome first day in Firenze.

The bell tower in front of my bedroom just rang and that means its 11 pm. Gooooood night Florence

Day 2 Florence:

I woke up this morning and immediately opened up the 3 layered doors to great the day off our wrap around veranda. The day was cloudy and misty, but it did not bother me much. Prior to my trip to Italy I was obsessing about the weather. But now that I’ve experienced the showers whether passing or prolonged, I didn’t mind it at all as it added to the beauty of the place and changed its facade only a slightly bit.

Our space is so big that Debra and I decided it was time for some serious yoga and stretches. All the walking and climbing and what not has made my legs and body tight. So we put on Pavoratti and did yoga to opera. Couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to do yoga in Tuscany 🙂 😁

Being that its Monday, all the museums are closed.. I knew this so we went to visit the Oltr’ Arno area and San Spirito.

We headed to the Ponte Vecchio where there only a few joggers and early risers like us. It was gorgeous. There were lacrosse rowers and birds flying all around. I’m amazed at the wood work of the stores. I can only imagine what it was like as a leather tannery and then a gold and silver market.

We continued going straight towards the Piti Palace. Although closed, ( what a piti hahaha get it? ) we had a cappuccino outside at the Bar Piti. There were locals everywhere and the neighborhood felt fresh. The sun came out in all his glory.piti

We continued passes the closed Boboli Gardens, and kept winding our way until we stopped to smell the green of a small park next to via Machiaveli.boboli

We followed the road winding up and up, passing mansions, villas, drop dead gorgeous hotels, and consulates, and little parks enjoying a breather now and then. This was an easy walk. As the road was not that steep but more a gentle climb.

As we got higher, we really needed to use the rest room. Fortunately we came across the beautiful Hotel Park, the former residence of the Duce of Luxembourg. What a gorgeous hotel and what a clean bathroom.

Our next stop was the San Miniato Al Monte Church and Friary. What a gorgeous church. And the views are spectacular. There was a Jaguar Herse parked outside and a funeral going on in the bottom chapel. The graveyard is immense and beautiful, with prominent families showcasing their wealth even in death.

I stopped by the little store for a few things made by the friars, and we headed down to Piazelle Michelangelo. Not super crowded, we were able get some amazing photos.Piazzelle-Michelangelo

We worked up a massive appetite and needed to eat. It was now noon. We decided to dine at the loggio up top, staring at the bronze statue of Davis bum. Hahaha.

The food was amazing and so was the hefty bill. But its ok.loggio2

Piazzelle Michelangelo is dedicated to the amazing artist and sculptor. His beautiful Bronze Statue over looks his beloved city of Florence.Loggio3

After lunch and a nice 2 hour rest, I wanted to go and see Santa Croce which was an easy and quick walk downhill. Bought a pressed flower painting by an English artist for 5 € on the steel steps heading down. This is the normal walk most people do from the city up to Piazzelle Michelangelo , climbing the very steep steps up, if they were only as clever as we were, and enjoy a leisurely walk and climb up through Santa Spirito. Oh well… 🙂

When we got to the bridge though, I heard it. I heard it roar through the skies… thunder!!! And in no time, huge droplets of rain and hail…..hail!!! Started falling..

And then it gushed. And then it poured heavily. And just like that, the selphie stick sellers switched gears to umbrellas. Wow their smart hahaha.

We popped into the Soul Kitchen for a cafe and to watch rain come down or rather wait for it to stop. It didn’t, for a while., but it was so beautiful..

We inched our way to Santa Croce, but the rain wast too much again so I popped into this little leather boutique called Chris Skarmus. Nice man, handmade leather jackets. Scored a red one for 200€. So beautiful..

Santa Croce church is so beautiful. Here lies Michelangelo, Gallileo, Rossini, Machiaveli, and works of art by Donatello. What a perfect church to visit.

 

As we made our way home for a siesta, we were tempted left to right with leather row. I don’t like the big company factories. I prefer small local boutiques.

I came across Massimo Ravinelle and found some beautiful silk and wool scarves. Oh the beauty!

Back home we rested for an hour and headed back out next door , to the Gucci Gardens museum. I was very disappointed. There weren’t any timeline of the evolution of their fashion just a hodgepodge of pieces.

We kept walking more and ended up at the Duomo which is where I will be visiting today. Omg it is amazing to look at. So beautiful

It was now almost 8 pm and I fired up The Fork app and found us someplace close by to eat. I decided on Osteria De Cicalini as I was looking to try more contemporary food. It was absolutely delicious, and clean tasting and an absolute must.

I got a call during dinner from a friend from NYC who happens to be here as well. So I met Carmine for cocktails back in the Santa Croce area. Last time I saw him, was in October of 2017 officiating a wedding of our dear friends. I remember talking with him about Italy, not even had made a plan to visit Italy, and next thing you know, we were both in Florence. How amazing is that?  By midnight I was a pumpkin and rushed home .mary

And that was day 2… Gorgeous and fun day

Day 3:

Woke up a bit late this morning. I think the cocktails last night and the full day of cruising around the beautiful Oltr’ Arno area had me dead a sleep 😁

Today is all about the Duomo.Duomo1

Florence Cathedral, formally the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Italian pronunciation: [katteˈdraːle di ˈsanta maˈriːa del ˈfjoːre]; in English “Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower“) is the cathedral of Florence, Italy, or Il Duomo di Firenze, in Italian. It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was structurally completed by 1436, with the dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.[1] The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink, bordered by white, and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris.

The cathedral complex, in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile. These three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major tourist attraction of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy’s largest churches, and until the development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.Courtesy of Wikipedia

Tickets: Duomo

By the time we got there it was already 9 am. We tried to get into the church for mass but decided against it. Kind of glad we didn’t go in. Instead we immediately queued for the Campanille climb. The wait wasn’t too bad. 15 minutes later we were scanning our prepaid tickets and starting the 414 step climb. 414 steps up!!! If there is a testament whether or not you need to be more in shape, this will definitely put you in check. Fortunately there’s about 4 rest stops on the way to the top and I took full advantage of each and everyone. The wind blowing at each stop totally cooled me down and dried me off. Wow.. I was amazed at the diversity of ages and shapes walking up. Everyone encouraged each other to keep trekking on.. Finally at the top, the views were incredible. I looked over at the Dome and thought omg I still have you to climb in 2 hours.. Am I a total nut job for thinking of doing them both in one day? Probably yes.

My favorite part of the entire climb came up, going down. God I’m a pro at it hahaha.

When we got back down to earth, there were lines forming everywhere. There are a lot of helpful staff around the complex pointing you in the right direction. And also some shady characters trying to sell you a sold out dome climb. We walked around the area leading up to San Lorenzo Market and did some shopping. Our dome climb was for noon so we didn’t really have much time for much else. We were going to do the Baptistry but that didn’t open until 11 as there was a mass going on. Its ok as we have 3 days to see that and the museum (which is closed today for some odd reason).

Ok,… Heres to the climb up the Duomo… Even for 463 steps I found it much easier than the Campanile.

Brunelleschi’s beautiful double dome was a marvel of its time, and soon churches around the world would be copying his masterful plan.

The stop to admire the Cupola is so amazing. The fresco just boggles my mind. How in the world did they paint that? And why am I staring at the devil on the opposite side? The nice thing about doing the dome is that you get to see the church inside which isn’t as elaborate as most churches here but beautiful and peaceful none the less. For a wrap around line outside trying to get in, there really weren’t many people there. They just control the amount allowed in at a time.

Finally at the top, the views are even better than my former climb. Clear birds eye views of this massive city and the rolling hills hidden by a haze in the distance. We took our time on the top and rested soaking in the views. The lucky thing is that there are a lot of tour groups whose guide helped us free loaders learn a bit more about everything Florence. Lucky us.d4

Then came my favorite part again, the climb down. Except some wise asssss decided to release some pent up gas, and for a moment I thought I was stuck on the big island in Hawaii smelling the fresh sulfur from the recent eruption. Ewwwww.d8

Finally lunch was mandatory and I had a fabulous chick pea and cabbage soup and boneless chicken mmmmmm so good. We walked home where I decided on a good lingerie 2 half hr nap. Omg I’m out of shape but wow what a nap. Now I feel the heavy drops on me from my veranda.  Time to get ready for dinner at La Cuccina Del Garga..

Day 4: Pisa and Lucca

Last night we had dinner with a friend from NYC who just so happens to be in Italy the same time we are. We had a sumptuous meal at La Cucina Del Garga. A little out of the way and in a very local area. The food was amazing!!! You must have the cheesecake

This morning we got up very early as we wanted to be out the door by 7:30.

We walked down towards the Santa Maria Novella Station passing the enormous ans gorgeous Salavdore Ferragamo shop and museum (closed until the 24th of May), Gucci Pucci, Metro, Armani, Prada and all the Italian brands the world adores.

In about 15 minutes we made ut to the train station ducking left and right as a plethora of students and business workers emptied out from the station.

We had yet to purchase our tickets and it was so easy. We found the Tren Italia machine, chose English, destination and time and in seconds the ticket printed and we passes through ticket checkpoint towards our track. I think its a good thing that they take time to check each and every person as it helps eliminate the unwanted snatchers and pick pocket’s.

In no time our double decker regional train pulled up and we were on our way. But not before validating our ticket at the little machine by the track. And lucky we did, as a conductor came around checking tickets. Stay tuned for my full report on visiting these two cities.

We headed back to Firenze around 6 pm.

Later while sipping a Spritz and Campari by the Ponte Vecchio, we got a message from Debra long lost friend from Hawaii who now lives in the Philippines. He’s in the city. Thank goodness something good comes out of Facebook lol. We rushed to the local super market across the Ponte and picked up some Brunello wine, cheese, salami, and olives and got our apartment ready for guests.

What A trip to be running into people from across the pond, here in Firenze.

What a great day

Official Sites for Firenze Museums and attractions I visited.  Quick Caveat…. When googling these sights, there are numerous websites that “seem” to be the legit site, but in reality it is a third party vendor selling your tickets at a higher cost. Be Aware and stick to the websites I’ve listed.

Day 5 :

Got up later than normal this morning, a bit passed 8. Felt great to have a full 8 hr sleep.. We took our time getting ready this morning as we didn’t have to be at the Academia until 10 am. Well that came and went so fast and next thing you know we were cat walking down the street in long strides to the Academia. Damn no chance for a coffee either.. Hahaha oh well. The skies were a bit grey, so I carried my umbrella. A few drops here am there but I refused to bring it out. I love the rain.

The streets weren’t as crazy yet, even at 9:45 am. Except for when we got to the Duomo as all roads seem to lead us passed there.

The lines were epic.. I hate lines really, and I’m so glad I pre-booked everything. When we got to the Academy the lines were equally epic. A very long line for non reserved tickets, a packed bunched up line for groups, and a small line for timed reservations. Picked up our tickets from door #52, stood in line and within 5 minutes I was inside. THERE ARE NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE BEAUTY OF DAVID. I just stared and stared and stared from all angles at his perfection. I just met the man of my dreams….Michelangelo was truly a genius and master sculptor.David2

The Academy has amazing art and sculptures, as well as Michelangelo’s earlier sculpture works, which really makes one wonder, how he went from his earlier works to the David, it is as if two different people attempted to sculpt. We took our time exploring the whole place.

After about and hour and a half we finally left and grabbed some much needed coffee. Mmm cappuccino…

As we had zero plans afterwards and no map, I fired up my phone and saw that there was a botanical garden nearby. So we walked to it and explored the beautiful roses and plants. I them saw that there was a larger garden near by but it was closed to the public, something we had to discover out for ourselves. Bummer. I did see that the Four Season Hotel shared the same garden park, so we went to the hotel and played like we are staying there. No problems whatsoever. Wow the hotel lives up to the Four Seasons brand. Its beautiful and a former Palace. But the gardens OMG!!! Spectacular! The lawns with its Rumba style cordless mowers, its fabulous sculptures, fountains, swimming pools and super model labeled out guests in runway fashions made for one drop dead gorgeous visit. Four Seasons Florence

After we thought to go and visit the San Lorenzo Market.. Meh… It was just ok, nothing to write home to… After a while, all these leather and scarf vendors becomes stale all trying to give you secret best prices. Yawn..

Hungry we stepped into the market building and was overwhelmed with the amount of people and choices.

We walked around National and found a little side street and the quirky Trattoria Nerone This place is delicious.and the restaurant is so cool. We shared a bruschetta and eggplant Parmigiano which I haven’t had yet since in Italy, and for my primi I had the Tagliatelle yet again, with black truffle shaving. Omfg as we say in Hawaii when something is soo ono (delicious) we say… Broke Da Mouth

After a very long lunch, I was on the Hunt for this Perfumery that was recommended to me from someone on Trip Advisor. Aqua Flor in the Santa Croce area was an absolute gem of a place and thank you so much to whoever it was that recommended it to me. The place is beautiful and the quality is amazing. I tried on 4 scents and left the store for a bit to let it settle and to see which i liked the most.. A friend of mine on a previous trip recommended this place to pick up olive oil, wine and vinaigrettes and they ship to Hawaii. I don’t remember the place, only the address which was on the exact opposite side from Aqua Florida. Perfect! As we walked in, there was a wine tasting going on, so we were asked to join them mm sure!!! Its free of course… At the end, I only got one bottle of oil as it would coat around 80 euros to ship to Hawaii and I would need to buy a lot of product to make it worth while … Oh well. I still supported him as he was really a sweet guy.

By now I had completely made up my mind, on my favorite scents. So I went back, dropped a pretty penny and walked out sooooo happy with the 2 scents I got. I’ve been doing a lot of Unique scent shopping as I love perfumes and smelling like no one else would… Yay so happy.

Debs and I decided to cross the bridge back over to the Oltr’ aorno area and walk around again in search of the perfect place for a spritz. We tried to go back to Piti Bar where we had our cappuccino a few days back but it was packed and the next door bar/restaurant wanted 10€ for a spritz each.. Ahhh no grazie.

We walked around searching through little side streets till we found the perfect quiet side street bar and sat and had our spritz with Campari.. I’m begining to like both Aperol and Campari alot.spritz.jpg

After about an hour we decided to cross the Vecchio to head home to use the restroom. But we said only to use the restroom.. As we knew that had we lingered we would be in for the night as it was already 7. Crap we are now out of toilet paper (TMI?) and need to get some perfect reason to head back out. We walked around the Uffizi as it is literally only a 2 minute walk from our apartment. There was no one really there just stragglers and we walked to the river following it down to the 2nd bridge after Ponte Vecchio. The sun was slowly setting, and the views were incredible.

The sun today came out in full glory, and the clouds were beautiful so you can only imagine the sunset or start of it… Amazing.Sunset

There were police, security everywhere and a whole street was blocked off to everyone as someone important was there either dining or what not. So we crossed back over to the other side and walked around looking for dinner. We found a basement restaurant and decided to try of out. The food was excellent but the staff was a bit over it.. There were locals and tourists alike.

Now done with dinner we needed to grab toilet paper badly. 2 girls no toilet paper = catastrophe. The neighborhood market just closed, and no place was nearby that we could think of so we did something so terrible, we grabbed an almost empty roll from a bathroom restaurant I ordered cafe from.. We felt so guilty as any good Catholic school girl could feel. It was just a little left enough to get us by till tomorrow. I left a 2 euro tip.. But we did get a huge chuckle out of it. No scoldings please, we are not thieves and it was an emergency

Ahhhh.. Firenze

Tomorrow is our last full day and night.. Tomorrow Uffizi

Day 6:

Last full day here in this beautiful city.

Another fabulous 8 hours of sleep last night.

Got up, started to pack a little as I was fully unpacked. Ugh dreading this. Tooooooo much shopping. Toooo much. What an idiot.. So many great things here and I brought way too much from home. Ugh when will I ever learn?

Ok enough feeling sorry for myself.

We hit a side street by our apartment off of Piazza Santa Stefano and had a lovely cappuccino and croissant.

Today is the Uffizi , that beautiful former Medici palace filled with so much beautiful art. I’m in so much anticipation to see Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus .Uffizi

Our reservation for the Uffizi wasn’t until 10:15 am

The ticket said no checking in until 10 minutes prior. The lines were epic and a lot of the open street part and Palazzo Vecchio was blocked off. It seems the president of the European Union was meeting with the head of Firenze.

We lined up at door #3 to pick up our tickets and after 15 minutes secured our tickets and proceeded to door #1 which had yet another line. Passed through security and made our way upstairs. Wow what a place. So beautiful and I’m so glad I saved the best for last. Botticelli’s Birth of Venus was beautiful as well as so many other great works of art.

After a good 3 1/2 hours in there I was starving. Walked down Borgo Apolisti and popped into this mom and pop restaurant serving a 10€ 2 course with water deal of the day. I had the spaghetti Pepperoni and a chicken salad. Omg that was spicy!! yummy

After lunch I wanted to go to the train station to scope out the left luggage place so I wouldn’t waste tine tomorrow searching. Im sooooooo glad I did as it was hard to find and finally I decided to ask for directions lolrandom

All set for tomorrow 12 € a day sounds good to me 🙂 💋💋💋

We walked back through the underground shopping mall and shopped around the Nationals area for some last-minute “leather” bag shopping. Scored a few nice items.

exhausted we stopped at a very slow cafe across from Ferragamo museum ( which again, is closed till the end of May) and I had a cappuccino.. I know at 3 pm sacrilege.

On our way home we stopped at our neighborhood cafe in our little Piazza and had a PROSECO. I think I’m gonna go downstairs and have an easy Panini through them. Its close to home 🙂

Just got through packing. Omfg.. Terrible.. I opened up my folded duffle and filled it with all the gifts I bought. My suitcase has only a little room left. How am I going to survive 18 more days? Maybe no shopping or maybe buy another suitcase. Ugh I still have all that Limoncello to buy…lord have mercy..

Tomorrow Sienna… Stay tuned

 

Palazzo Vecchio:

Duomo: ( Cattedrale di San Maria Del Fiori): 

Accademia Gallery ( Statue of David)

Uffizi Gallery

Palazzo Vecchio

#wanderlust4dayz

 

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