Ciao! This past weekend I fell in love with a city.
After the long haul of a 6 hour bus trip from Torino, we arrived to Florence in the pouring rain. The old sunken cobble stones, on the side walk, created pools of water. Despite the unhappy weather, we were still able to trek about the city avoiding puddles.
I quickly realized Florence is a huge tourist city. It was only the end of February, and I found the streets were packed with people! Although, tourist filled, there were so many different things to do and see. In this moment, the sky was gray, but lights were reflecting off of the river, I fell in love. No wonder why people love Florence so much, there is an irresistible charm that fills the street.
That night our Airbnb host had a huge party with all of her closest friends and invited us to the party as well. Only speaking a bit of Italian, it was great to meet and drink wine with native Florentines! Everyone was so nice and welcoming.
The next morning we woke up super early and were the first people in line to the Uffizi gallery. We spent over 4 hours in the gallery and even saw works by Leonardo! A few of the more popular works I have studied or seen in pictures before, caught me off guard due to their massive size. I mean, it seems like a miracle, one person could produce such enormous paintings!
The building next door was the Museo Galileo. With my engineering background, I completely nerded out in this museum. It was so neat to see prototypes of cranes, pulley systems and the tools needed for mathematics. It made me appreciate my calculator and how I can use my phone as a leveling device. However, I love learning about the history and Galileo’s contributions. When you think of technology, one does not link an hourglass to the word. This museum made me realize at one point an hourglass was revolutionary technology.
After 6 hours of museums, we headed to Piazzale Michelangelo. The view of the city was incredible. Then, we walked to Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte. Every church in Italy is decorated as if it is the last church on earth. They have paintings, gold, marble, etc I cannot see enough of them!
The famous bridge Ponte Vecchio, home to a dozen gold shops was interesting. At first, I did not even realize I was on a bridge! The shops line the street, so you cannot see the water until the middle of the bridge. It was so cool. I found out it was the only bridge left across the Arno river after World War two. We noticed the sun was setting so we grabbed a bottle of wine and watched the sun set at Piazza Pitti. The wine was a red sparkling wine. I have only had sparkling white wine or champagne in America but have to say the sparkling red wine was delicious.
The next morning, we visited the Accademia Gallery. I have noticed it is better to get up early to be one of the first in line or else pay for a fast pass or wait forever. The museum itself was smaller than the Uffizi but the unfinished works of Michelangelo were in the collection! I was surprised how large the David statue is by Michelangelo! It truly looked as if the men Michelangelo was carving were really trapped in the marble. It was a bit expensive but worth it to see Michelangelo’s works.
Since it was Sunday we decided to go to Mass at the Duomo. The inside of the church was incredible, the dome is unquestionably an incredible engineering accomplishment. I believe the man that designed and built the dome was buried in the church. The Mass service was beautiful, it was interesting how the acoustics echoed throughout the entire building. Overall, it was an amazing trip. I highly recommend to others, just stay clear of the massive tour groups!!