We arrived in Florence on the 2nd of May, by train from Rome and we fell in love instantly. We came to Florence, or Firenze, because my Dad had come here on his European adventure 30 or so years ago and loved it. I can see why! Florence is wonderful. It is a city with such a great vibe/culture. There are so many great little boutiques and an amazing amount of talented artists!
We checked into our b & b when we arrived and were greeted by an older couple who clearly love their city. They were so welcoming and showed us how everything worked and where to go before we set off on a walk.
The lines at the time of day we arrived at, were quite long and we’d had enough of lines after Rome, so we did some window shopping, saw where the Statue of David by Michelangelo originally stood (there is an exact copy standing in its place now with the original in one of the museums) and then sat in front of the Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace, named after the family who built it originally). I think sitting at the Palazzo Pitti was a highlight for Drew that day: there are gentlemen selling knockoff sunglasses all over the place, which is illegal in Italy so we were watching them. One of the “salesmen” starting walking doubled over and in a rather evasive fashion. Andrew was on it. The police had turned up. The chase was on! The “salesmen” were scattering and we saw two hiding their products and trying to act casual. One was too close to the police and was arrested. We couldn’t help but find ourselves barracking for the “salesmen”.
That same night we met up with a local couch surfer, Vanessa. She took us for dinner at a place for apertivo (where you buy a drink and they have gorgeous meals out for you to help yourself to – amazing food, not like a regular buffet at all). Delish! She was lovely as well!
The next day we got up early to climb to the top of the cathedral, the Duomo. It was a serious hike up some very narrow stairs but it was worth it. The view of Florence was just amazing. After this hike we ventured back to the Palazzo Pitti and made it inside. Their was an incredible collection of artworks from the families who once lived there, but I found the furnished rooms more interesting. Looking at the rooms and how they were once used was very interesting. Best of all, about the Palazzo Pitti, however, was the gardens. We had brought ourselves a picnic lunch and found a gorgeous lawn to eat on with a view of the city. Perfect.
After wandering around the gardens, we met up with Anna, a friend of Drew’s from Scone Grammar. She introduced us to the “Spritz” a delicious orange drink, and showed us the view of the city from another angle.
We just love Florence, so instead of moving on to Venice, we are staying with Anna and her boyfriend Claudio for an extra couple of nights and day tripping to Venice tomorrow instead. There is a very good chance that I’ll be wearing my new Italian leather jacket and handbag as well 😉