EuroAdventure15: Exploring Florence

(posted by Emily)

14 July 2015
Florence, Italy

There are so many amazing things to see and do in Florence, It was the birthplace of the Renaissance, and is full of incredible art and history. 

One of the major sights to see is the Duomo, Florence's cathedral. Entrance to the church itself is free, but climbing the dome of the church costs about 7 Euros (I believe).  We read that the church opened at 10am, and when we arrived at 9:45ish, the line to get in was already wrapped the building. Ugh. We'll check back on that later....

We wandered down toward the Uffizi, which is a museum gallery that is home to many prominent works of Renaissance art. Reservations are recommended, and despite multiple recommendations online and from friends, we just couldn't bring ourselves to do it. Instead, we decided ro wander the local market stalls that sell leather goods, scarves, and clothing. Sometimes, you just know what kind of sightseeing is most appealling to you!

These are the statues in the loggia outside the Museo Vecchio, where the concert was the night before. 

We wandered over to the area near San lorenzo church, where there are a huge number of street vendors and also Florence's central market. Now, this is my kind of sightseeing! Fresh fruits and veggies, baked goods, sandwiches, everything! We grabbed a small sndwich and a slice of pizza to munch on. 

As I alluded to in the post yesterday, we decided to follow along with Rick Steves' Renaissance walking tour though the main sights of the city. It was hot, but helped give us some more background on what we were seeing. 

The Duomo

The bronze doors at the Bapistery

One of the churches we wandered in to 

More sculpture at the loggia

A marker where a monk was hanged and burned at the stake, marking the end of the enlightenment here in Florence. 

The Neptune fountain

Along our walk, we noticed an important sight that Rick Steves forgot to point out--the Zara :) It wouldn't be a successful trip with out a quick walk through, and maybe a purchase....

Rick had found a sandwich shop online that sounded great, and we took in the neighborhood as we made our way there. 

A pop up store inside a church, somehow linked to the World Expo in Milan.

Unique door knockers are a feature in Florence

At Salumeria Veri, we grabbed two sandwiches, two arancini, a beer, and a Fanta. Only 13.50 Euro for all of it--pretty cheap for Florence! I had the vegetarian sandwich and Rick tried the vegan--both were outstanding, and very filling!

After lunch, we headed back to one of the leather markets to partake in one of my favorite pastimes--haggling :) We picked up a beautiful belt for Rick and a crossbody bag for me. Then, it was off to the apartment for a shower and siesta time--I really love that part of the day! :) 

When it had cooled down a bit, we decided to wander the city a bit more and head up to Piazzale Micahelangelo for sunset. On the way, we grabbed some gelato! 

While walking over to the river, we came across some sort of parade with people in traditional dress, drums, and bugles. I really wish I knew what it was for!

We weren't really that hungry, but wanted a small picnic to enjoy while watching the sun set. We found a Conad (an Italian grocery) and picked up bread, cheese, wine, and olives. 

We walked up to the piazza and were greeted with a stunning view of the city. Many people come up here to see the sun set, and bring wine and snacks. It was beautiful. 

Because social media can be a glorious thing, I knew my old friends Sarah and Katherine were in Florence at the same time as us. Sarah had mentioned they were coming up to watch the sunset, and it was easy to find them! Very fun to have a connection to home in a faraway place! Our moms volunteered together for years, and we are all lucky to be Kappa sisters :) We enjoyed sitting with them and swapping travel stories as we looked out over the city. 

A beautiful sight--and, the crowd on the steps decided it was an applause-worthy sunset, too! :) The Ford girls gave us the rest of their bottle of wine, which we took back to the apartment with us (along with a quick stop for a Nastro at Eataly), and we called it a night! An easy day for us, but filled with the sights we like to see most :) 


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