[Recap: This post fits in right after my first time visiting Venice, on a trip that was to celebrate my mother's 50th birthday. If you want to read about Venice (my first time visiting) click here. This post has been a long time coming, and even I cannot think of a reason why I have put off finishing and publishing this post, although I seem to have also done that with a few more posts, so expect them in the coming days and week.]
Spending two days in Venice was a great way to start off, what hopefully will be, my first trip to Italy. Although Venice wasn't my favorite place on this trip, it was an amazing experience to be able to see such a unique city. Our next stop after Venice, if you couldn't have guessed it already, is Florence. We would be taking the train from Venice to Florence, which would allow us to see some other landscapes as we traveled, something that you cant always see in such detail when you are flying from one city to the next.
Our trip to Florence was mostly just us walking around and finding things as we went - which, for me, is part of the fun. You don't always need a guided tour or a real plan to be able to experience what a city has to offer, and this can also leave you with a reason to come back. When you're done, and leave, you may realize that you missed something you wanted to see to that you didn't get to experience as much as you would have hoped. But if you're like me, that is part of the fun, and although returning can be expensive, sometimes in the end it is worth it. Sometimes its not even the sights that make you want to return, but sometimes (a lot of the time if you are me) its the food that brings you wanting more of a city, and wanting to return. Florence has a pizza place called "Fuoco Matto" that you need to try. It was the first place we found to eat when we arrived, and it was located pretty much next to our hotel (we are apparently pretty good at finding good food down the street, shout-out to my first visit to Paris and "Publisher"). Not only did this place have the best pizza we had on the entire trip, but it also had some of the best service I have ever had in a restaurant, ever. In our time in Florence we ended up going here two or three times, and the staff remembered us and treated everyone like royalty. I would highly recommend giving them a visit.
Okay, onto the actual sights. Not far from out hotel was one of the major attractions in Florence, seriously you cannot miss it, and for those of you who don't know what I am talking about already, I am talking about the Piazza del Duomo. This is one of the most amazing structures that I have ever seen in my travels, and it is buildings like this that always make me wonder how people came up with such beautiful designs, and also realize the level of talent that the people who built these buildings had.. Not even just the artisans, but the laborers and everyone involved were skilled in some way, regardless of what it was they were doing. When we went to the Piazzale Michelangeo, I really got to see just how beautiful this city was. The views showed more of the city as a whole than you get from walking along the roads, although that is kind of obvious, its not something you really realize at first.
Two of the other big sights and tourist attractions that we saw were the Statue of David and Ponte Vecchio. Obviously David was something that our art teachers growing up had mentioned, and as a kid I never really paid attention, although I could recognize it if I saw it in a book or on TV, but I guess the thing that I really missed was the size. That was the thing that took me a second to realize when I saw David for the first time, was just how big the statue really was in person, and how long that would have taken to carve. Let alone that it was a single block. The other thing, was just imagining what it took to move David into place to carve. I'm glad I wasn't around then and told to help, that's for sure.
In the middle of our time in Florence we took a trip out to San Gimignano and got to have a quick wine tasting, and catch some amazing views. Although I plan on writing about that part of the trip at a later date, and it is already two years later, so we will see how that goes. After Florence we headed off to Rome, and of course got to experience some of the Amalfi Coast. I hope that people still want to read about a two year old adventure, but it will at least help fill in the blanks on some parts of the trip that have been missing.
The next part of this adventure is our visit to Rome! Click here to check out the next part of the trip.