Monday, October 6, 2014


Yesterday morning we took the train to Florence, a quick 2-hour trip from the Cinque Terre. We walked right to the hotel, which is easy to find since it's right next to the Duomo - you can't miss it! Our hotel room is pretty awesome, with 20 ft tall wooden ceilings and a big balcony overlooking the Duomo. We grabbed a slice of pizza for lunch right in front of the Duomo and had fun people watching while we ate. Florence seems much busier than Venice, but that's probably in part due to the fact that everyone isn't hopelessly lost in a maze of side streets! We did a Rick Steves audio guide walk through the main sights and ended up in the Oltrarno neighborhood, across the Arno river, which is a bit quieter and less touristy than the center of town. We popped into a wine bar and got to taste the first really good red wines of our trip. Yum! It is interesting how things are so localized here. We are only about a hundred miles from our last stop in the Cinque Terre, but they didn't have many Tuscan reds in their restaurants and here they don't seem to have the white wines made in the Cinque Terre. It's quite a contrast to home, where we can buy wines from all over the world!

Our hotel room in Florence. Right next to the Duomo and so beautiful with the traditional high ceilings!

View of the Duomo from our balcony


Lunch next to the Duomo

Pizza and wine for lunch never gets old!

Duomo and Campanile

Inside a church on our walk through Florence

So pretty!

Palazzo Vecchio, the palace of the Medici family

Hmmm, the choices are pizza, pizza, or pizza?

Wine bar! Delicious red wines!

Wine bar selections

The streets of Florence were blissfully free of cars, leaving them generally wide open for bikes and pedestrians

A wine shop with Florentian decor in the Oltrarno

There are more giant doors in Florence!

After that, we went to the Galileo Museum, which is a fascinating collection of scientific gadgets mostly dating from the 1400s to 1800s. We headed back to the Oltrarno for dinner at a nice restaurant where we enjoyed spicy pasta and carpaccio for dinner. It was all delicious!

Damon checking out the Galileo museum - such a cool place!

Giant globes in the Galileo Museum

The cheese and meat case in the restaurant where we had dinner

At dinner in the Oltrarno. The spicy pasta we had here was very unique! It was also Damon's first time having carpaccio.

More giant doors!

On the Ponte Vecchio bridge after all the jewelry shops had closed for the night.

This morning we have a reservation to the Accademia (David!) when it opens, and later this afternoon we have a reservation at the Uffizi Gallery. In between we'll probably check out the market and maybe climb the Duomo. It's a renaissance history filled day for us!

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