Published: April 15th 2012April 15th 2012
Vespas and Motorbikes Gallore
Just an average laneway in Italy...
We arrived in Florence on Sunday 1st April, which seems like a lifetime ago now! We literally dropped our bags that day and headed off exploring (well, to be precise we headed off to go shopping for a pair of jeans for me as the stupid laundry service shrunk a whole load of my washing! So we were off to replace my super tight jeans.. And if you think super tight jeans are bad.. Imagine what it's like having super tight underwear too! Ugghhh).... Anyway, so we successfully replaced the jeans and continued into town for a celebratory drink (and so that I could change into my new, less tight, jeans)... We wandered into town and happened (or maybe it was Nick's doing) to walk down one of the gorgeous streets that leads directly into Piazza Duomo. What this meant was that for the whole length of the street I could see the beautiful Duomo in front of us, so big that it looked like our street was a complete dead end, entirely blocked off by the building. The colors are magnificent, much more beautiful that I expected.. A creamy background with pale pink and green detailing, all made from marble.
The Mask Shop
Yes, it's a mask not a very scary civillian haha
It's so big that it wasn't until we were actually in the piazza that we could crane our necks to see the beautiful red tiled dome and graceful bell tower. It is by far the city's most iconic landmark and is remarkable for taking 150 years and many different attempts to construct... It's is still the largest free standing dome in the world! We sat at a nearby restaurant for some beautiful Chianti red wine (jealous Ray, Gail? hehe..) and watched the sun set over the bell tower. Gorgeous.
We spend the next day, Monday 2nd April at the Uffizi Gallery (theres a blog we 'prepared earlier' on this) and then the next few days exploring the city. We went to the San Lorenzo market... I swear you could smell the handcrafted leather bags and jackets and shoes as we approached! We got Nick his first man-bag and later that day, a pair of hand made sandals to match. For the record, his signature color is brown. We also wandered down Via de Tornabuni, Florence's 'most legendary fashionable street'. We would like to add that it must also be Florence's most <em style="mso-bidi-font-style:
normal;">expensive street! We pressed our noses up to the windows of the beautiful designer stores and dreamt of the day we can afford the fabulous tailor made jackets! We felt much more at home over the river in the San Spirito area, which is a charming neighborhood filled with cobble streets and home to numerous artisan workshops and hideaway galleries. It was gorgeous walking through here and we did so a few times.. You saw artists painting in their workshops, wood workers carving away, leather workers making shoes and bags (heaven!) and all sorts of other creative peoples doing their creative thing in their shops. One of the other things we loved very much about this side of the river was Gelateria Santa Trinita! We visited here a number of times too! The best favors were Fig & Ricotta, Cookies, Marscapone and Dark Chocolate. Yummmmm
On Friday 6th April we went to Galleria del Accademia. This gallery is home to many works by Florentine artists from the 13th to 16th Centuries, the most famous of which is of course... The Statue of David. The statue was amazingly carved from a single block of marble by Michelangelo when
he was only 29 years old! It stood in the Piazza Della Signoria (outside!) until 1873, when it was moved into the gallery. It is an incredible sight! You walk through a few rooms of the gallery before reaching the hall where he stands. As soon as you enter the hall, which is lined with the unfinished statues of the Slaves, you see the perfect and ginormous David up the end under the dome sky light.. And the closer you get the more perfect and gigantic you realize he is!!
After a rainy Easter weekend, we were blessed with a bright and sunny last day in Florence, Monday 9th April. We ventured across to our beloved other side of town, which was absolutely packed being a public holiday! We thought it would be a nice day to visit the gardens... Apparently everyone in Florence had the same idea! But it turns out it didnt matter... The incredibly spacious Boboli Gardens provided plenty of room for everyone. We got lost in the maze of enchanted windy garden pathways and found ourselves at a peaceful oval shaped area down the far end, which made the busy city
Sealing the Love
Just after we locked our lock to the bridge and tossed the key into the river. No, we are not engaged. Just cheesy tourists! haha
seem a world away. What a perfect spot for some biscotti and nutella! We also went to the adjacent Bardini Gardens, which were much more beautifully manicured and which provided much more amazing views, but which we're no where near as relaxing. They were so perfect you wouldn't dare sit down or lye in the grass there!! It was just gorgeous. Florence will be sadly missed by us until the day we meet again!
There are more photos below