Thursday, October 3, 2013

Florence Sights

    I plan on spending the next couple of weeks recapping the four cities that we visited as well as offer some travel advice for beginners traveling abroad.  We were Europe newbies sort of--I went to London with my high school orchestra back in the day.  It counts of course but the language barrier and fact that we weren't going to be followed around by a chaperone (ie. my mom) the whole time made this Europe trip feel a lot different.  It was exciting to be out on our own finding our way and only a little nerve racking at times.  

Our first stop was Florence, Italy.  Let me start by saying that when you round this corner and see the Duomo, it doesn't even look real.  It looks like a freaking movie set with an elaborately drawn backdrop. It's beautiful.

The Duomo itself was closed for mass, so we climbed the Campanile--this beautiful bell tower.  

It was 414 steps of crazy winding narrow stairways with way too many people, but it was worth it for the beautiful views!

The Ponte Vecchio is a historic bridge filled with shops on either side.  It's pretty amazing. 

It's safe to say that this place is beautiful and unlike any city we've ever been too.  It's truly a concrete jungle with very little grass, so if you get a chance to see the Boboli Gardens I highly recommend it.  You'll welcome some greenery!  The attention to detail there is also really cool.  They keep the garden up enough keep it beautiful and trimmed, but they leave it untouched enough for it to feel old and overgrown.  It's like this place is stuck in a time that has long-since passed.  

It rained pretty hard while we were at the gardens.  We practiced our selfie skills while waiting it out under some bushes.
Last but not least, we made sure to stop by Mercato Nuovo to see this famous statue of a wild boar nicknamed The Piglet.  Legend has it that if you rub his nose you will return to Florence one day.  

{Full disclosure: we came across the statue late at night after my birthday dinner and many birthday drinks.  I think that was the only way Kevin was willing to pose with a wild animal statue and rub its nose but I'm glad we snapped this pic}

We really do hope that we'll return one day. We feel like we still have so much in Italy that's left to see.  I'm pretty sure that I was meant to be there--the wine, the bread, the pasta, the oils, and the truffle dishes--ok so these are all food related items but I swear I loved the scenery too.  Here are a few more scenic shots.

And a few more fun ones.

I kept a journal during the trip of our favorite items and names of places so that we wouldn't forget anything.  Some of the things worth mentioning from Florence are below.
Where we stayed: Hotel Azzi
Top things to do: Climb the Duomo, Florence for Foodies Tour, shop the Mercado Centrale
Favorite random moment: We went to a nice wine restaurant for a meat and cheese appetizer on my birthday where we were shocked (and nearly spit out our wine laughing) to hear Gangsta's Paradise came over the speakers.  It's nice to get strange little reminders of home when you're abroad.  Even if it takes you back to middle school and awkward school dances.  For what it's worth, we hear that Gangsta's Paradise is a great movie; we might even watch it one day to remind us of our trip to Italy.  See how things come around full circle?


  1. Hello! Stopping by via the Weekend Wander. I am also a blogger from the Boston area. I love your Florence pictures. My husband and I have been to Rome, but Florence has long been on our list of must-sees. And since reading Inferno this summer, I am even more eager to tour the city. Looking forward to following your journey.


  2. Looks like an amazing trip.Italy is a place I'd love to see one day. Great photos! Stopping by from the Weekend Wander Blog Hop.

  3. The sky in the 3rd photo looks unreal! You got some really great shots, love the panoramas. Very awesome that you got to adventure in four cities. Found you from northeast bloggers :)


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