Florence / Firenze / Florencia

Hi Readers, it’s been several months since last December, so I dug out my travel journal to write this post. Here’s what I have for you:

Amy and I spent a blissful two weeks in Rome, which I think we’ve explained sufficiently. These two weeks were honeymoon level bliss. Amy and I just giggled to ourselves at our good fortune as we licked through a gallon of pistachio gelato per day while exploring Rome. (Correction: Amy and I never giggle. Her laugh is more like the wind whistling through the pines of the Alps. Mine is closer to Yzma’s from The Emperor’s New Groove.)

After New Years in Rome, we took a very fast train through the hills of Tuscany to Florence (Firenze), about two hours away. Amy acted as my guide to the city, as she’d visited Firenze the summer before. We had the time of our lives. Again.

There are several events that stand out in my mind about Firenze that made it such a special few days:

-Our host, Franca, was a lovely woman with a Patsy Cline smoker’s voice, but liked to dress casually around the house and didn’t subscribe to the door-should-be-shut-when-one-pees magazine. Even Amy was alarmed, and it takes nothing short of a nuclear disaster to get Amy nervous.

-We climbed Brunelleschi’s Cathedral of Firenze’s dome, which was possibly the most dangerous activity of our entire year in Europe, but one of our favorites.

-We spent way too much money on Florentine marbled paper (please watch this), as should you when you visit Firenze.

-Amy and I would advise visiting in the spring or fall.  We were there in January, and had the buns frozen off us. We broke the icicles off each other’s noses every evening. Is this comparable to what marriage will be like?

-Walking along the Ponte Vecchio, Florence’s most famous jewelry-laden bridge, was a gem in my crown. For any Samfordians reading this: This is THE perfect place for a proposal.

-The museums blew our minds. The Uffizi Gallery post from a few days ago was just ONE museum, and we saw several. Graphic Design major Amy is the best art guide and truly appreciated every work of art. I just wandered around with my mouth agape like a cod fish, another reason she doesn’t often photograph me.

-The atmosphere of Firenze is enough to go, even if you weren’t interested in art or the Italian renaissance. Plus, there’s nothing like a steak from Tuscany. Gosh, the food was as close to heaven as I’ve personally ever gotten.

I think you can pick up the feel of Firenze from Amy’s photos.

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Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna [1583]

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Replica of David

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Ponte Vecchio

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Inside the Uffizi

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Ponte Vecchio by night

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It was so cold!

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So sooooo cold.

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Getting ready to climb the Duomo!

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On the way up!

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Not for the fainthearted…or claustrophobic.

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The view from the Duomo. (One of Amy’s life goals complete.)

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Amy said something funny as we walked around the top. Lost my cool. Happens often.

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Cheshire cat smile at the Oregon Trail-level hike up the dome that we accomplished. I cannot believe they let me work with children with this face. Geez.

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Yay a photo of us together! A rarity.

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Brunelleschi’s AMAZING handiwork. If you’re interested in how the dome was built, (a true engineering feat of its day) watch this link. It is still the largest masonry dome in the world.

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Yup, that’s the way down!

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Bargello Sculpture Museum

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David by Donatello [1440]

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Inside the Bargello.

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Fiaschetteria La Mescita, our absolute FAVORITE Florentine restuarant. Get there early or they’ll run out of food and leave you standing in the door hungry and exposed.

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Santa Croce — resting place of many of Italy’s long dead celebrities.

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Facade of Santa Croce.

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Uffizi by night.

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#backpackers4lyfe

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Arno River reflections.

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The Baptistry ceiling!!!

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The floors in there were just as impressive.

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Asian tourists are our favorites.

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Palazzo Vecchio from the inside.

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Made out of different types of stone, CRAZY.

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Spain, represent!

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Views from the top of the Palazzo Vecchio! Amy was freaking out.

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Uffizi from above.

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Bardini gardens detail. Bring your hiking shoes, it’s all uphill!

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And then it got warm on the last day. Clothes were flying off like it was the annual sale at Nordstrom.

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See?

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Views from the Bardini Gardens!

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Getting ready for the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo.

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And finally, our favorite street art from Firenze:

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Isn’t Cat a talent? We had the hardest time weeding through photos, especially since Amy took nothing short of 2000 photos in Firenze! Thanks for traveling with us!

Also, Rae, we put in as many squishy butts as possible just for youuu.

K and A

Phrase of the Day:  estar de mala leche | to be in a really bad mood

Song of the Day: Monsters | Angus Stone

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