The train from Rome to Florence only took 1.5 hours. Upon arrival we found our hotel (Hotel California). It is very centrally located, very comfortable and with breakfast included. We dropped off our bags and went to get lunch and walk around the market. Florence is definitely more compact than Rome. It is very pretty and laid back. After attempting to haggle for some scarves (without any luck…) our room at the hotel was ready. We got settled and decided to visit the Duomo and climb the 400 some steps to the dome. Included in the ticket was a guided tour of the Duomo. It was interesting to get the story behind the Duomo as after a while, churches and Basilica’s start to look the same. What’s neat about this church is the decoration on the outside. It’s decorated in white and green marble which makes it look like a mosaic. The baptistry and the bell tower are separate buildings, but all clustered together.
The climb to the top was tiring. Definitely do take breaks if you get tired. The views are worth it, but take your time as you aren’t rushed to leave. After the climb, we treated ourselves to some gelato and sat on the Duomo steps to enjoy it. For dinner we went to a restaurant called the Yellow Bar. The food was really good, quite affordable and the house Chianti was great.
Day 2 in Florence we went to the Galleria de Accademia where Michelangelo’s David is. After visiting the Vatican Museum, Joe and I were kind of “museum-ed” out. I do appreciate art, but prefer architecture. Unfortunately you’re not allowed to take pictures of the real David. It is very strictly enforced (unlike the Sistine Chapel). The statue truly is beautiful. I’d seen pictures of it, but there’s nothing like seeing it in person. First of all, it’s really big. Second, imagining trying to sculpt something like that from 1 large block of marble is mind-boggling. Everything, from the posture, the stature, the detail, is well thought out. You can even seen the veins in his right hand. After resting, we went to Ponti Vecchio, walked around the area and went to dinner at il Pizzaiolo. We each ate a massive pizza, freshly baked in their open stone ovens.