Florence-The City of Museums and Shopping

We took the train to Florence. I have to say that the Europeans have public transportation down! I wish that we had such an easy system here. Anyway, I was very happy when we arrive at our bed and breakfast, Il Salotto de Firenze. Not only was it beautiful but the location couldn’t be beat. We were right on Via Roma above Gucci and literally around the corner from the Duomo and about two blocks from the Uffizi. Nice room isn’t? Probably the only time we’ll have the room that was recommend in the travel books.

Since we didn’t have to be anywhere we just strolled around for a bit to get the lay of the land. We hit the Duomo first. We immediately got in line to climb to the top of the dome. Climb we did, 467 very narrow steps. It wasn’t quite as bad as some of the steps to the top of St. Peter’s but when we got to the top it felt a lot less secure. I wish it had been a little less foggy so that we could have gotten better pictures. After we climb back down, we checked out the impressive inside of the basilica. That evening we went to a restaurant recommended by the owner of our B&B. Trattoria Marione.

As you may be able to tell we were stuffed in like sardines but it was one of the best meals we had our entire trip. We shared a bottle of wine, spaghetti and roast beef. As you can tell we really enjoyed it. Tiramisu and gelato later we called it a night.

Day Two started early! After delicious Nutella on brochette and a cafe, we headed to the Uffizi. We got to see a little bit of everything. From Michelangelo to Botticelli. It was kind of unreal to see all of these painting that you’ve seen reproduced all over the world. We spent about 4.5 hours walking through and admiring the paintings and sculptures. Those Medici’s were very smart to start collecting the fantastic artwork. Later that afternoon we headed out for our first run of the trip. Of course it was gorgeous so we had to repeat it the next day so that I could take pictures.

Day Three-Ringing in the New Year right! Another early museum appointment. This time it was at the Academia. We spent the morning checking out David up close and personal. Did you know back in ancient times it was thought of as crass to have the penis be proportional to the size of the statue? Who would have thunk it. Explains a lot really. We didn’t spend nearly as much time at this museum. Honestly we were getting kind of tired of looking religious paintings.

It was time to run again so that I could get awesome pictures this time. Uphill all the way. We ran from the Duomo across the Ponte Vecchio up the Michelangelo’s Gardens. Ha stairs…bow before us. Just look at our view.

We ran back down the hill, straight to our room to look up a gelateria. Then we literally ran right out the door and to the best gelato I’ve ever had. Vivoli aka heaven. Not kidding, it took all of the self control in my body not to get a second serving. Especially after Josh took the last of my vanilla. We almost had to get into a fight about it, that’s how good it was.

We had a 3:30pm reservation at a little tiny family owned restaurant, Coquinarius for our New Year’s Eve dunch (as Ted would say) so we had to head back to get ready. This was another awesome recommendation we got from the hotel. We found out that most restaurants closed after lunch on NYE because Italians generally spend it with their families at home. We lucked out once again. The food was amazing.

We had the evening all planned out. We went back to our room, changed and took a walk around to work off some of the deliciousness we had just eaten. By 8 pm we were ready to have a snack and break into our wine. Bottle of wine down we headed to the main square for the concert.

By this time it was pouring rain and our umbrella had sprung a leak. Did we care? Absolutely not. We were wet and muddy but having such a great time. We had no idea what they were signing about but loved every sloppy second of it. When the clock stuck 0:00 the fireworks began. It was such a great way to ring in 2010. The start of another great year! Once the festivities were over we headed home to people watch from our balcony. There were definitely some characters, including this guy who was throwing firebombs.
The next morning we totally overslept and had to hurry off to the train station. Not to worry, we had time to eat some Nutella before we left. I know you were worried. The adventure continues…

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