Friday, April 9, 2010


Ciao!  I'm back from Spring Break and had a splendid time.  First stop on out ten days off was Florence, Italy.  I definitely loved Florence and plan on going back so I can do a Vespa tour through the Tuscan countryside.  We didn't have time to do that this time, but it just means we'll have to go back!  Florence is a beautiful city and once thing that dominates is the gorgeous Duomo.  We arrived on Palm Sunday, so it was very busy around the Duomo, but unfortunately we couldn't go inside that day.  So, we decided to wander, explore the city, and determine just who had the best gelato in Florence.  

We soon found ourselves in a main square, right near the Accademia and Uffizi Galleries.  Unfortunately, we couldn't get tickets to see Michaelangelo's David, but it was okay, since they had a big copy just outside the museum for everyone to see!

We did go into the Uffizi Gallery, which was amazing! I love Botticelli, so to be able to see The Birth of Venus up close and personal was very cool.  There were also a ton of portraits and paintings I've seen in my school books when we're learning about the Renaissance.  It was awesome to be able to make the connections!

After the Uffizi, we explored some more and went over to the Ponte Vecchio, Florence's famous bridge, lined on either side by extremely expensive jewelry stores.  

As you can see from the pictures below, we had beautiful weather in Florence, and I definitely want to go back and explore that countryside!

Here are my two room mates and me, throwing up Flat 2 pride!  We had a great time traveling together, and get along really well.  Even when we were exhausted form planes and trains and less-than-exceptional hostels, we were still laughing with each other.  It's nice to travel with people like that!

We had dinner at a lovely little place near the Uffizi, and let me tell you, real Italian food is so much better than American-Italian food.  It was so good!  We had bruschetta, mozzarella, wine, pastas, and gelato.  Delicious!

The next day, we headed to the Duomo, and after standing in line for a very long time, we were finally allowed to go in and begin our ascent to the top.  Look how beautiful the inside of the Dome is!

Here's the group - only half way there!

The long and steep climb to the top of the Duomo was definitely worth it - just look at these views!

Unfortunately, because we were there during Holy Week, many sights were closed, like The Pitti Palace, which was once home to the Medici rulers of Florence.  However, we did get to go and relax on the slopes in front of the Palace and get some sun.  I did get a little burnt!

Tuesday we left Florence, and headed to Pisa, as our flight was leaving from there.  Of course, we had to get the typical tourist photos - too bad I'm too short!

Italy is definitely an amazing place, and I wish we had spent more time in Florence in order to really experience all it has to offer.  But, I know I'll be going back someday, so I'll just have to be patient.  Next stop - Barcelona!

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