Looking back through my pictures and Florence is as beautiful as I remember.
We had what was probably the best Airbnb apartment of our whole trip. It was less than two blocks to the River Arno and the Ponte alla Carraia (the second bridge west of the Ponte Vecchio), and probably 15 minutes walk to the train station. Well, 15 minutes for us. If you ask an Italian how long a walk, they would probably say 5 minutes. They all seem to walk very briskly and everything is “just 5 minutes walk away.”
Just inside is the well-equipped kitchen and one bathroom, then up stone stairs to the two bedrooms and up another flight to another bathroom.
Right by the bridge was a gelataria, Gelataria Carraia. This was another fabulous gelato shop, also on several Top Ten lists.
We loved living in a neighborhood that offered laundromat, grocery store, bakery, brewery and gelataria all within a short walking distance.
S. Forno Panaficio, the bakery, was a beautiful shop with a vaulted ceiling. I asked a woman behind the counter how long they’d been open and she said they’d been there for four years, but there had been a bakery in that location for “at least 100 years.” Everything we tried was delicious.
Rem was happy to sample a flight of beer at Archea Brewery in our neighborhood, a small place, as well as at Beer House Club, which had more space, and more beers to taste.
Walking around there was so much to see.
From this huge wall, portal and door…
To a strange doorknocker, there were beautiful and unique things at every turn.
This poster turned out to be the first of several similar ones we saw later in the trip. Blub.
An open-air bus was a nice, relaxed way to see some of the city. Sitting in the sunshine with my husband, classical music playing on the headphones between the tour information, toodling around Florence wasn’t a bad way to spend the afternoon.
And David. Ah, David. There are two replicas displayed outdoors. We saw them both. The bronze, below, is in Piazzale Michelangelo.
Rem was not interested in waiting in line to visit a museum, so I saw the original marble by myself (for the second time – my first visit was when I was there 18 years ago). It was a long line but I’m glad I went back.
We didn’t go inside the Duomo, but the exterior is an extravagant wedding cake of a design in elaborately carved white, green and pink marble. The terra cotta dome is magnificent and I loved catching glimpses of it as we moved around the historic center of the city.
We enjoyed a classic dinner: bistecca alla fiorentina, or literally Steak Florentine: grilled Porterhouse steaks.
And of course we enjoyed shopping in the food stalls in the Mercado Centrale and cooking dinner in our own kitchen. I also hit the stalls outside and bought a new purse and some scarves.
Soon enough, it was time for another train journey – off to Lucca.
Thanks for coming along.