Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Our Honeymoon: Last Day in Florence, Italy

We woke up on our last day in Florence feeling refreshed and ready to explore.  The thing about Florence is that it's bigger than Venice, but it still wasn't so big that we couldn't easily get around on foot.

And boy did we! We walked all over the city throughout the day.  We started our morning by making our way over to the Academia to see about getting inside to see the Michelangelo.  Full disclaimer here - Adam and I are not big museum people.  Don't get me wrong, we appreciate history, good art, etc... but we'd so rather be outside than looking at stuff on display inside.  Nonetheless, we figured we should see the famous stuff while we were there.

However, turns out that the lines were nuts.  We didn't need to see it THAT bad, so we opted to get a ticket to go to the Uffizi Gallery later in the day.

Next, we stopped by the main market to check it out.  There were lots of souvenir kiosks (for lack of a better word) outside, and then inside was full of meats, cheeses, herbs, alcohol and other such items.  I feel like if you lived there, it would be really fun to grocery shop each day and buy fresh items for dinner!

After this, we wandered back to the center of town.  We knew you could go inside the Duomo for free... but oh my goodness, the lines.  I'm sure it was beautiful inside, but after a few minutes of debating we decided we wouldn't regret it if we didn't go in.  We much preferred to not stand in line for a few hours.

So we popped in some shops and picked out a magnet as well as a postcard to get in the mail to Connor (we wanted to send him one from each city we visited!)  We walked around for a bit, and we stopped at some point for some lunch that was unmemorable.  We also grabbed some to-go sweets at Cafe Rivoire. :)

Before long, it was time for our entrance to the Uffizi Gallery.  We wandered around in there for about an hour.  Ultimately, we thought the building itself was more impressive than the Renaissance art on display.  We're glad we went in at least one museum, but at the same time I think we would have been ok if we had skipped it.  And it didn't help that it was hot and stuffy inside. I did snap this great picture looking out one of the windows.

After this, we decided to head back to the hotel for a nap and shower.  We hadn't really done that much in the hours we wandered around, but the heat is draining and we decided we'd rather relax a bit.

After the nap and cleaning up, we decided to do as the italians do... Over there, you can buy bottles of beer, wine or other drinks off of street vendors and walk around with it openly.  That still felt a bit extreme to us, so we opted to pour ours into the water bottles we got on the bike ride.  We wandered around for a bit, and stopped for a cheese plate and assortment of spreads as an early dinner/snack.  

And yes, I wore my sneakers with a dress.  With no shame.  

We knew we wanted to walk up this big hill to the Piazzale Micelangelo.  I had read that the views of the sunset from there looking back down on the city are amazing, and it did not disappoint.

We ended up hanging out up there for a while, just taking it all in.  We got to chatting with a brother and sister who were traveling together, too.  They were about our age and from Alabama, so it was fun to chat with some other folks for a bit.

Eventually, it got dark and we wandered back down to the city.  We were pretty full from our appetizer meal earlier, so we decided there was no need to grab dinner.  Instead, we headed back to the Cafe Rivoire and enjoyed a few sweet treats and the ambiance of the night on the plaza.

After walking around the city for a bit on an evening stroll, we went back to our hotel.  We got everything packed up as we'd be heading to the train station bright and early to make our way down to Rome!

We really enjoyed Florence.  It was so completely different from Venice, but we still really liked how it felt like a small town with a lot to do and see. I loved our time there.  Had we not gone to Pisa and done the bike tour, I think we would have run out of things to do in the 3 nights there... but since we added all of that in, it was the perfect amount of time to be there!