Travel Series: Florence

I absolutely love the city of Florence, so it was really great to be back exploring it for an entire day. This was one of our busier days; at the end of the day we had walked almost 8 miles. Sadly, due to some poor planning, I wasn’t able to see any of my Italian family during my time in Florence. However, I’ll be seeing them in about a month at my sister’s wedding, so I’m not too broken up about it.

Our day started with about an hour long bus ride from Chianciano Terme into Florence. Once we were there, we met our local guide for a walking tour through the city. We saw the Santa Maria del Fiore, along with Brunelleschi’s Dome, but we weren’t able to actually go inside. Luckily, I’ve done that before.

After the piazza del duomo, we headed to the Palazzo Vecchio to see some replicas of some of the most famous sculptures that are located througout Florence. Again, we weren’t able to actually go inside, but I did that the last time I visited. The last stop on our walking tour was Santa Croce, which is stunningly beautiful. It was really nice to have a personal, local guide through the city, but I think my guide the last time was a little bit better :).

After the guided portion of our day was done, we had a Florentine steak lunch, which was absolutely amazing. We shared steaks among three people, and we also got pasta and salads. For those of you that don’t know, Florentine steak is known for being cooked incredibly rare, which is perfect for me. If it wouldn’t make me sick, I’d probably eat my steaks completely raw, to be honest. Florentine steaks are also notoriously expensive, but because we went with such a large group we were able to get a pretty good deal on our meals. Once we finished dinner, I wandered the city with Jess, Sarah, and another girl from the trip named Gabby. We stopped in a leather shop and had an incredibly awkward encounter with a rude shop worker (which is really a shame, because we were ready to spend quite a bit of money there), and then we went to a different leather shop and chatted with the kindest lady, who helped us pick out the perfect gifts.

We did some other shopping around the city, with Jess buying some gorgeous jewelry (and convincing me to get some adorable earrings), and me buying a super cute dress for our wine tasting the next day. Jess and I also ended up exploring the Bargello National Museum for a little while, which was really cool and was also one of the few things I hadn’t previously seen in Florence. We were able to see a lot of early sculptures made by some of the masters, along with a wide selection of ceramic pottery. The building that housed the museum is one of the oldest in Florence, and was previously a prison.

Our day in Florence ended with a group hike up to the Piazzale Michelangelo, which gave us some of the best possible views of the city. It was kind of a bummer to only get one full day in Florence, but it was also cool to explore some of the areas of Tuscany that I didn’t get to see the last time I was in Italy. For example: the wine-filled area of Montepulciano!

Stay tuned for more updates,

xoxo, second sister suzie

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