So… our hotel in Florence did not have internet and you had to pay 10 euro for internet in our four-star hotel in Italy. So basically, I have not had internet for about a week, which is why my updates are late. But I will start with Florence:
We got to Florence on Friday around one and went on a walking tour with Martin. There were random rain showers throughout the day, which kept it relatively cool so the weather was perfect! Our hotel was about one street down from the center of town so it was a great location. Martin took around to get a view of the Duomo and Giotto’s Bronze Doors. We had been learning about the Duomo and the Bronze Doors for the past two weeks and it was so cool to finally get to see it in person! I loved getting to see all of the different scenes from the Bible depicted on the doors! Next, Martin showed us where the leather market was, knowing that we would all want to do some shopping. After walking around for a while, it was time for the US soccer game. We found this pub called “The Old Stove” and about 20 of us piled in there to watch the game. The rest of the night was pretty low-key with everyone just trying to get adjusted.
Saturday, the 60 of us went on a tour of the Uffizi Museum in Palazzo Vecchio. There were so many beautiful paintings in there! My favorite of the paintings were the “Birth of Venus” and “Springtime” by Botticelli. The Gallery was huge and had so many famous paintings! After the museum, Alyssa, Helen, Carmen, and I went to the Duomo. The outside of the Duomo is decorated with many different colored marble and is beautiful!! We climbed to the top of Brunelleschi’s dome. The view was gorgeous and all of the buildings are so pretty with all of the brown roof tiles! The climb to the top was 363 stairs, so we definitely got our workout! It is probably a good thing since I eat all pasta and pizza and usually have gelato ATLEAST once a day, if not more. But the view definitely made the hike worth it! After taking the 363 stairs back down, we went to Ponte Vecchio Bridge. The bridge is known for all of its gold shops, meaning, I window-shopped and looked at all of the beautiful jewelry, knowing I could never afford any of it. Once we were done with the bridge, we had dinner and then headed back to the hotel for the night.
Sunday, we all went for a walking tour. Our tour guide took us to many different medieval houses around Florence. The tour ended at the Academia, where many of Michelangelo’s most famous statues are, including “David”. Because I had been taking the Italian Renaissance class for the past four weeks, we had learned all about Michelangelo and his works, so it was cool to get to see all of the artwork that we had been learning about, including the “Pieta”. But “David” definitely outshined all of the other statues in the room! He was in the middle of the room and was huge! How Michelangelo created something so beautiful, I will never understand! “David” was beautiful and it was so incredible to get to see! After getting to see Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” and Michelangelo’s “David”, I think I have seen the two most famous artworks in the world! After the Academia, Helen, Alyssa, and I went to Piazza Signoria and ate lunch. Picture an Italian square and that is exactly what this piazza looked like. It had a fountain in the middle with statues surrounding it and restaurants, bakeries, and pastry shops along the streets. So cute! After lunch, we headed to the leather market. It was full of leather shops that make there own purses, belts, shoes, and other leather things. It also had smaller stands that sold other small things. Once we were done with the leather market we headed to dinner. About twelve of us went to this restaurant a couple of streets away from our restaurant. It was incredible!! I got the best lasagna EVER!! And then I ordered, brace yourself, CHEESECAKE WITH NUTELLA ON IT!!!! It was the most delicious thing EVER!!! After our amazing dinner, we went back to the hotel and called it a night.
Monday morning, we left Florence for Rome. I definitely could have spent at least one more day in Florence. It was like a larger version of Verona, but with more history. We were able to walk everywhere so it didn’t feel as though it was some huge city. All of the history was so interesting and the buildings were beautiful! But I was definitely excited to head to Rome.