Florence Day 1

Sep 17

Florence Day 1

We both woke up a bit later than planned this morning and had to scramble to be packed and out of the hotel on time. We said goodbye to the Westin Palace in Milan and walked back to the train station. We had a quick breakfast at the station and some gelato (oh Italian gelato, how you tempt us and win every time!) before boarding the train for Florence. I must take a moment to mention how utterly fantastic every single scrap of food is in Italy!! Even packaged pastas and salads taste like manna from heaven!! Everything in eateries is fresh, cooked to order, and so positively delectable! But, I digress.

The train ride was about an hour and 45 minutes. On the train, we received an email from our airbnb host, telling us that he would pick us up at the station! We reached Florence, gathered our belongings, and schlepped off the train. There to greet us at the end of the platform was a smiling Italian gentleman named Paolo with a big sign that read RYDER. Paolo is the reason we fell immediately in love with Florence! He was so kind, bringing us groceries to get us started and helping us bring our bags into his flat that we are renting for two weeks! After showing us the ropes, we bid Paolo goodbye, hoping to see him later in the week for dinner, and spent some time reading and relaxing in the flat. Around 6pm we ventured out for dinner.

Our flat is located right in the heart of Florence, only a 12 minute walk from the Ponte Vecchio! We found a nice little eatery a few blocks down for dinner. I had a yummy salad and Ryder some real Italian pizza! Then we strolled through the streets towards the river, taking in the cobble stone streets, tiny walkways, and the bustling sounds that are Florence. The river was wide and very far down from the street level. We meandered down the road and finally caught a glimpse of the Ponte Vecchio! Well, I saw it, poor Ryder broke his glasses and I accidentally left the broken half in Germany, so he is a little blind at the moment in one eye.

We crossed another bridge and made our way to the famous Ponte Vecchio and the crowd of jewelry shops that line its main street. The bridge was a bit busy with tourists taking photos and Italians hurrying by on bicycles. The sun was setting over the river, turing the sky pale pink and soft yellow. From the other side of the bridge we could just make out the Duomo thrusting high above the block buildings the line the streets. We decided to walk there next.

Before we made it to the Duomo, we came upon an old building that looked to be part of a castle. The inside was full of painted mosaics and frescos. A sign read Ponte Vecchio Museo. We ventured into the atrium for a look at the frescos, then continued onto the Duomo. Of course the Duomo was closed this late at night, but it looked like something out of a story book. Lines of green and white stone paint patterns along the walls meeting rows of friezes and statutes. The dome itself is still the color of natural red brick, bringing it out in stark contrast to the rest of the building. We walked almost entirely around the building, soaking up its awesome hight and size.

We made our way back to our flat after that. I took a shower and unpacked while Ryder worked. All in all, a very successful first day in Florence!

One comment

  1. Kathy Hickey /

    Firenze – that’s where I went to cooking school!!!! Such a beautiful city and the art is to die for. Go see the David. And the doors – pay attention to all the building doors outside – they are the most impressive doors I have ever seen!! Have a wonderful time in Firenze – such a romantic city. Enjoy!!

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