Saturday, April 30, 2011

Traveling in Italy: Florence

Our next stop was Florence, which ended up being our favorite city of the trip. After leaving the crowded, fast-paced streets of Rome, it was nice to enjoy a slower-paced city that wasn't as full of people. We stayed right on the south side of the Arno River and could see it from our room. Our one day in Florence was spent walking around and seeing all the churches and museums from the outside mostly. We also checked out the local market and browsed the street vendor's stands, which smelled like leather because there were tons of purses, jackets, and other leather goods for sale. I'd been looking for a new purse for a while so I picked up a souvenir. =)

Then we headed into the heart of the city to see the Duomo. This enormous church was surrounded on all sides by buildings so it was tough to get a good shot, so here is one that shows the incredible detail that covered the building.

We thought it was interesting how plain the inside appeared after being blown away by the ornate detail on the outside.

Looking up towards the dome, before climbing the steps to the top.

The view from the top of the Duomo was one of our favorite views in Italy. The weather was absolutely gorgeous as well, which made the experience that much more amazing.

It might have been a cool view to see the Duomo from the Campanile as well, but we had to pick just one... we had already climbed tons of stairs the first part of the trip.

This was just a typical plaza that we saw with a relaxed vibe.

After weaving our way through the city, we came back around to the river and visited Ponte Vecchio.

Later in the evening we headed up to Piazzale Michelangelo which is a hilltop that overlooks the city. We had planned on taking the city bus since we'd already walked so much that day, but in typical Italian style, they were on strike... so we ended up having to walk the entire way. In the end, we both agreed it was worth the walk. The view from the hill was incredible. We got there a little before sunset and stayed for at least an hour.

This was the shot I had envisioned, and was so excited to get it even without a tripod!

Next up, our trip out into Tuscany to see Siena and San Gimignano.

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