Europe Day 13: Exploring Florence

Welcome back everyone! Today was a busy day for us and it started very early in the morning. We woke up at 6:30am and got ready for the day so we could be at the breakfast room promptly at 7am. Breakfast in this hotel was good- they had a really cool self-service pancake maker that popped out pancakes in 60 seconds. After we finished eating, we met our tour guide in the lobby to begin our walking tour of Florence.

Our first stop was the museum that held David and other Michelangelo works, Gallery of the Academy of Florence. David was much larger than I originally imagined, and it was so detailed. It was amazing to see it in person since I’ve always heard about it and have previously studied it and Michelangelo in general in school. We then walked past the Duomo and stopped to admire it and the surrounding area. Our guide led us through the city bringing us to some of the places we briefly saw while walking around yesterday like the Ponte Vecchio bridge area, and she pointed out some shopping and restaurant recommendations. We finished the walking tour around 11am, and we were all hungry so we set out to find a restaurant.

We didn’t feel like walking anywhere far away, so we stopped at a restaurant on the way back to the hotel. I got a margherita pizza (surprise!) but it actually wasn’t the best- it just didn’t seem as fresh as the other ones I’ve had. They gave us a lot of bread with our meal but it was kind of rough so I didn’t eat much of that either. Side note- the bread in France was much better than the bread in Italy based off of my experience so far, the rolls and bread given at restaurants here is much rougher.

Yesterday we dropped off our laundry at a nearby laundromat so on our way back to the hotel we picked it up there. It was actually really nice since the place folded everything and packed it up for us; going there was a great decision even if it was a little late in the trip, and it felt so nice to have all of our clothes clean again. We carried the clothes back to our hotel and put everything back in our suitcases, then took a break in the rooms. Noon to 4 is an extremely hot part of the day here and since we didn’t have any other plans or main things we wanted to see, we decided to relax and save our energy for when we went out walking later in the day.

My mom, my brother and I went back out around 4pm after a few hours of rest and stopped for gelato. I got chocolate chip in a huge cone (I normally get one scoop and I got 3) and it resulted in a delicious sugar coma! My mom wanted to walk back down to Ponte Vecchio and look at the rings again so we wandered around there and took more pictures. My dad met us around 6:30 for dinner at a restaurant close by the bridge. I got grilled chicken for some much-needed protein and I throughly enjoyed it. We walked back through town after dinner to get back to our hotel and relaxed for a bit, then went up to the roof to enjoy the view of Florence on our last night. It was relaxing and we had a wonderful view of the Duomo and other big buildings. Once it got dark we headed back inside and got ready for bed, packing up our stuff for our fairly early train tomorrow.

Florence has been such a beautiful city and I wish we had more time here; the past day and a half flew by and I’m sad to leave. Tomorrow we take a train to Venice at 9am and I’m very excited, especially because the early start will mean we have a little more time there then we had here in Florence even though it’s the same amount of days/nights there (we planned 1 full day in each, but 2 nights because of the half-day where we arrive). I can’t believe the trip is coming to an end but I guess it’s not really if we still have one more city to see, so I’ll hold my feelings and reflections in for now. I’ll update you guys tomorrow from Venice, and I really hope you’ve enjoyed the content from my trip and this blog so far!

-Brooke

The statue of David in the museum, much taller than I originally thought.

More angles of the Duomo, such a beautiful and large cathedral.

I just took this because our tour guide pointed it out in passing by- the water-feature looking thing on the wall is actually a CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN.

The view of the river from a different section of the bridge.

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