Travel: Florence, Italy
I was able to visit Florence when I was younger. I can't remember so much of our visit there that time. But I do remember the Duomo and entering one of the museums. I also think that because there were so many tourists when we visited almost 14 years ago, it seemed more stressful than enjoyable. Plus, because I was so much younger, I wasn't able to really fully appreciate it in its entirety.
This time, everything around me grabbed my full attention. We took a train from Venice to Florence and it took us just about 2 hours. Visiting Florence again in 2019 was very different. When we arrived there, we immediately felt "cultured". You can actually feel the history of every cobbled stone street we walked. Everywhere you looked, it was like a painting you've seen in a museum. Everywhere you wanted to take a photo, it felt like it was perfectly lit with no filters needed. Yes, none of these photos have been edited or filtered at all. That's how beautiful it actually is.
Our stay in Florence was very much elevated by where we stayed as well. My sister-in-law, Camille, did an astounding job with securing our accommodations right beside river with a beautiful view of Ponte Vecchio. It was romantic and charming. With the morning sunlight kissing our faces, the fresh breeze we welcomed through our windows, and us enjoying our dinner at home while listening to the river and the music from the streets with the lights reflecting and bouncing off the river, it was just beautiful.We walked every street. We didn't waste any time in Florence (even if we got lost for a tad bit because we were depending on our data that just decided to die on us). We were able to visit the following: Giardino Mediceo, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza Duomo (but we didn't bother going up to the Duomo, the line up was 2 hours), Palazzo Medici Ricardi, Gucci Gardens, Gucci Osteria (unfortunately just the outside because there was a wedding reception booked), Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens, Mercato de San Lorenzo, Galleria dell'Accademia, Villa Bardini, Giardino Delle Rose, Basilica de Santa Maria Novella, Piazza della Repubblica, and Piazzalle Michaelangelo. We were even lucky enough to view a parade in full-blown Italian fashion!
And of course, their food game?! IT WAS ON! I don't think I've ever had such a long hangover of a certain dish as the one I had in Osteria All'antico Vinaio. To this day (a year later), I've been dreaming of this porchetta sandwich so much I was forced to make my own at home just to satisfy that craving. They're sandwich could very well be the best sandwich I've ever had and I'd go back to Florence for this reason alone. I had the L'Inferno and WOW. [I need moment. Let's pause. Okay... carry on.] We also tried the Bistecca a la Florentina at Trattoria Mario, had numerous cappuccinos, burratta, gnocchi, and sooo muuuccchh gelato!!! I even met my high school classmate, Anela, when we were enjoying (another) scoop of gelato at Gelateria dei Neri! What a small world indeed. The tiramisu we had at the Osteria II Buongustai was probably the benchmark of all the tiramisus we had in this trip. It was silky, creamy, spongy, and just divine.
Every view was art. And I don't think any photo will every do any place justice. Everywhere you looked was beautiful, appreciated, and swimming in history. The air was sweet, the sounds of people bustling about, hearing the music played by the buskers, the feel of the stones under our feet, the smoothed walls in every museum or cathedral we viewed, and every texture we experienced with their exceptional food. It was a feast for our senses.
Here are a few photos to take you to Florence, Italy.
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