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.
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.
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.
The Piazza della Signora is also home to the Palazzo Vecchio, a grand, old palace,
The Fountain of Neptune,
and the Loggia dei Lanzi, whose statues are jaw dropping.
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.
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.
Followed by dinner and wine, of course.
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!