Tuesday, June 28, 2011: Firenze

This morning I enjoyed a quiet cup (ok…two cups) of cappuccino at a café across from our hotel. The woman there – the owner, I assume – was so friendly. I loved sitting there watching the people stroll by…some tourists, some locals. It was early enough that the city’s routine workers were starting their daily activities. Trash pick-up is obviously first thing Tuesday morning, shops received deliveries of food and other goods, and there were workers setting up scaffolding to work on restorations of the historical buildings. It was a nice slice of Florentine life, mixed in with a bit of tourist life…but mostly I enjoyed the solitude from my family.

My husband and I toured Il Duomo (only 2 minutes walk from our hotel) in the morning, walking the 154 steps up to the dome, and then continuing up the additional 300+ steps to the very top. Stunning views from here!! Rather than wait in the looooong line to enter the church, we elected to pay for the guided tour. It was a deal and saved so much time. Plus, we were able to see parts of the dome and church only open to those doing the tour. I highly recommend it.

We grabbed a quick bite to eat before meeting up with a guide (Marco Secci) to tour the Uffici museum, a 2 minute walk in the other direction from our hotel, then headed to see ‘David’ after that…amazing! Our guide was one of the best we have encountered. I made sure to get his business card so we can use him again when we go back to Florence. And yes, we do plan to return one day to see all the things we didn’t get a chance to visit.

Marco suggested yet another local place for dinner; also right around the corner from our hotel (I should mention we had a phenomenal hotel location!). After dinner we headed on a walk past Ponte Vecchio to one of the De Medici castles open for a late-night visit. My husband and I toured for a bit…amazing to see how grand some folks lived! It was a nice night and we enjoyed our walk back through town to the hotel. Florence is a beautiful city, well worth the visit. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to return.

Please share with your friends, thank you!

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