Italy

Firenze, Italia (Part 1)

After a few relaxing days in Sevilla, Spain we packed our bags and headed to the city of Firenze, better known to many as Florence. We took a plane to Rome and then from Termini station took a train to Firenze. On hindsight we could’ve flown to Pisa then went to Firenze from there but the flight selection from Seville to areas near our destination were not that wide. We forgot the fact that last-minute train tickets can be quite expensive (oh no!).

We thought it would be as laid back as the previous city but we were terribly mistaken. Crowds flock  to the city’s main tourist destinations but you can always find pockets of quiet and calm if you prefer that.

Our choice of accomodations was once again an airbnb apartment. It was an old apartment several stories up via stairs. We really felt like locals in this three-bedroom flat. As always, we chose one with a good value for money and located in a nice part of town. (See Our Airbnb Hits) The place had two bathrooms, a kitchen, a huge living room that could double as extra sleeping quarters, and huge windows which look out over the Piazza del Carmine. We were in the Oltrarno (“beyond the Arno river”, specifically to the South) quarter, a more quiet part of Firenze and it’s nice to come home to a quiet area after a day of sight-seeing.DSCF6038 (1024x768)DSCF6037 (1024x768)DSCF6024 (1024x768)

An unexpected treat for us was the free nightly performances at the piazza below our apartment. This was one of the performances we saw on our first night:

 

I actually don’t know how to tell this story because of all the things we’ve done so I’ll try my best to put some order.

First, there’s a lot of beautiful art in the city. The churches in themselves are galleries with the abundance of art you’ll find in them. What was a bit off-putting for us was that almost all of the churches were charging entrance fees, unlike in Rome. We understand that it’s for maintenance purposes but still, we found that to be a con for us. That’s probably one of the reasons we decided to not enter most of them. And after London and Seville, at this point we were getting some art fatigue, if you know what I mean. Also there were a lot of tourists at this time and so getting into galleries like the Accademia (where the original David by Michelangelo is situated) required advanced planning, which we neglected to do.

We then decided to make the most out of our little walks since art is basically everywhere!

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The altar of the Santa Maria del Carmine, a church just few meters from our Airbnb
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The Basilica di Santo Spirito’s simple facade is very deceiving; it houses many paintings inside. I couldn’t take photos as it wasn’t allowed.
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Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

The Caterdrale di Santa Maria Del Fiore is hard to capture in one shot; it’s massive and located in a tight spot surrounded by small streets and buildings. The decoration on the outside of this church is impressive. It’s dome called Il Duomo is one of Firenze’s most famous landmarks.

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The Duomo right behind Tess is one of Florence’s most popular landmarks

 

 

 

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Had a peek of the baptistry doors during a morning canolo run. There was a lot of beautiful detail.

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Like I said art is everywhere, and proof of that is the La Loggia dei Lanzi.

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Uffizi Gallery. Will have to come back to go inside and explore.
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A little look into the interiors

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Tatay and the living sculpture

The Boboli Gardens is an expansive space with a lot of indoor and outdoor spaces to choose from. The views are exquisite. We liked their costume gallery too.DSCF5814

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Nanay chasing the pigeons 😀

 

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DSCF5827DSCF5857Our first attempt to go to Piazzale Michelangelo was foiled by a sudden thunderstorm. On the bright side, it provided us a beautiful rainbow.

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We went the following day when everything was sunny and bright. This is probably one of the best vantage points from which you can see and take in the beauty of the city.

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A copy of Michelangelo’s David

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Bridges are lovely venues for people-watching, gelato-eating, and picture-taking.

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With the medieval bridge Ponte Vecchio behind me
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On the Ponte Vecchio
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View from Ponte Santa Trinita

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DSCF6019There’s something about the dreamy Italian sunlight that makes Firenze an outstandingly beautiful destination.

The next part of our Firenze story is about one of our ( if not our most) favorite topics…food! (Firenze (Part 2: Food!))

Ciao!

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