mom2nomads

ahhh, the life of a diplomatic princess . . .

Memories of Florence . . .

When we moved to Ireland I was beyond excited. We’d already traveled there a few years before, at which time I’d fallen madly in love with it and, when we moved there, I found myself even more deeply under its spell. I was completely charmed by Dublin, a vibrant city whose history has been preserved and nurtured. I spent hours wandering– narrow cobblestone streets or wide, grand pedestrian walkways, manicured parks or untamed forests just outside the city, they all made me happy. So when my hubby and I started talking about traveling to Italy I was a bit hesitant, we were only in Ireland for a handful of years and I intended to soak up every bit of it, I wasn’t sure I wanted to take time away from exploring the island. Still, a weekend in another romantic, ancient city sounded lovely so Florence it was. After three days there I realized it wasn’t just Ireland I was hooked on, it was Europe. As much as I’m thoroughly enjoying living in Costa Rica I miss Europe and I was recently inspired by a blog piece about Rome to do a bit of blogging about some of my favorite places we saw while we lived in Ireland, starting with Florence.

As I mentioned in my last post, I love to find unusual, romantic places for us to stay when my hubby and I decide to take some time away for ourselves. In Florence I found a charming boutique hotel called the Santa Maria Novella, located on the piazza it is named after.

Sitting room of the Hotel Santa Maria Novella

Our room

And, now, for some of the sights we saw . . .

First, the Duomo. We spent a fair amount of time wandering around the outside but, because we were in Florence at a very busy, and very hot, time (and we only had 3 days) we decided not to wait in the very long line to view the inside.

Duomo

The famous dome of the Duomo

Next, off to the Piazza della Signoria, home to, among other things, the famous Uffizi Gallery. We spent hours wandering the halls of the Uffizi, battling other tourists to see the famous works of art (totally worth it). Should you find yourself planning a trip to Florence, you can buy tickets in advance online so you don’t have to wait in line to get into the Uffizi which, I’m told, can take hours at the height of tourist season.

Statue of Da Vinci outside the Uffizi

The Piazza della Signora is also home to the Palazzo Vecchio, a grand, old palace,

Inside the Palazzo Vecchio

The Fountain of Neptune,

Horses in the Fountain of Neptune

and the Loggia dei Lanzi, whose statues are jaw dropping.

The Rape of the Sabine Woman

Perseus with the Head of Medusa

The Rape of Polyxena–I found this statue in particular, despite it’s subject matter, particularly beautiful.

The attention to detail of the statue is what fascinated me, carving something that looks so fluid out of stone–wow.

We visited the Basilica of Santa Croce, where Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, and others are entombed, which is fairly mind boggling when you think about it.

Tomb of Michelangelo

We also spent some time just wandering the narrow cobblestone streets of Florence, enjoying its charm.

A trip to Florence would not be complete without a visit to the Medieval bridge, the Ponte Vecchio, and a sunset.

Ponte Vecchio

Followed by dinner and wine, of course.

Gnocchi with pesto, beans, and fresh cherry tomatoes

Bottles in the window of our lovely restaurant

We also hiked into the hills around Florence on our first day there, exploring ancient churches and cemeteries but, sadly, something went wonky with our camera memory chip and all of our photos from that day were lost. Guess we’ll just have to go back!

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2 thoughts on “Memories of Florence . . .

  1. lynne on said:

    Thank you Heather, for bringing up memories of my first and only trip to Florence when I was a 17 year old backpacker. My friend and I would buy postcards we liked, then go find those places. My photography skills and the test of time haven’t been good to my memories of that trip so this post is like reliving it for me (minus the sumptuous digs, of course!)

  2. Glad you enjoyed, Lynne, thanks for reading it!! I bet that was an amazing backpacking trip!

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