Florence had more of an urban, lived-in feel to it than did Venice, which seemed to consist entirely of tourists. Our wanderings were therefore not as inherently picturesque, but the streets of Florence offered their own kinds of artsy charm.
Have I mentioned the food?
Although amazing food was not a Florentine exclusive (it took weeks to shrink our stomachs back down to a normal size when we returned to the States), we did have one of the single best dishes of our whole stay in Florence—a pear and smoked cheese kabob. (Another favorite that we had in Cortona was a ham and pear pizza—who knew pears could be such a magical addition to savory dishes? We’ll definitely be adding them to our grocery lists in the future.)
The only food we tried in Italy that we didn’t like was in Venice. We got brave once and tried some local seafood for lunch…let’s just say I had to get gelato afterwards.
Josh and I decided to see The David mostly because it was one of the centerpieces of tourism Florence had to offer. It was the only thing we explicitly planned to do in the city, and though we weren’t particularly excited about it, let me just say…Wow. Pictures don’t do the massive sculpture justice. Your experience and interpretation of David—his expression, his stance and demeanor—changes depending on where you’re standing. And where he is standing—we also saw his replica in the Piazza della Signoria, which was grungy and battle-worn from being outside and had a totally different effect.
Il Duomo (The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore)
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is another Florence staple. We wandered past it several times throughout the day before finally deciding to brave the line for a peak inside. Had we been more prepared, I think it would have been worth buying tickets ahead of time to climb the dome, but the cathedral was plenty impressive on its own.
And that pretty much wrapped up our trip. We bought some boxed wine to celebrate our last night in Italy, called it an early night, and rested up for the long flight home. Arrivederci, Italia!
(Did you really think I could go a whole page without puppy pictures?)