I always knew Florence would not disappoint. It didn't.
After three days in Rome, we hopped on the train and made our way to Florence.
We found our train!!! How exciting!!
Florence was warm, sunny, and gorgeous.
The exterior of Santa Maria del Fiore (or the Duomo) is gorgeous. I could have sat and stared at it all day long.
Florence isn't the most colorful city (it was known for it's development of innovative architectural design principles during the Renaissance-- not for being overly decorative) -- so this basilica with it's colorful and decorative exterior is a dramatic contrast to the other plainer buildings in Florence.
Caleb's favorite pictures from our trip...
He likes this little bird coming to help me read my map. He also likes a picture of me in Rome-- there's a bird that looks like it's about to fly straight into my head. Apparently that one's pretty "hilarious" too.
Caleb was SO fascinated by this bridge-- lined with shops and stores. It totally cracks him up. Our hotel was actually a 2 minute walk from this bridge-- it was a great place that was super central and within walking distance of everything. They also served the most amazing breakfasts-- mouth watering pastries and all the freshly brewed espresso and cappuccinos a person could want-- served in a beautiful BEAUTIFUL room complete with pretty table cloths and dishes-- even cloth napkins... my kind of breakfast!!
Right in front of the Duomo is the Baptistry. We didn't go inside-- but I was pretty fascinated by the doors. I remembered studying them in Art History-- beautiful.
Santa Maria Novella-- houses Masaccio's painting Holy Trinity-- Another painting I studied back in the day. Wow-- can't believe it was that long ago that I was a student in Art History. Actually-- thinking about school-- just yesterday I was at the dentist getting a filling (boo!!) and the dental assistant thought that I was a college student. When I told her I am actually a mom with kids she seemed a little shocked-- that's gotta be a good thing... right?
Back to Florence...
We also visited the Brancacci Chapel to see Masaccio's Tribute Money-- I wrote a paper on this painting years ago. It was very cool to see it in person. It is forbidden to take pictures in most museums and churches that house famous works of art-- but in this chapel they allowed you to take pictures without a flash.
We also visited the Uffizi Gallery to see many many other famous works of art and the Galleria dell Accademia to see the famous statue of David. Since we were there in March and not during the summer we didn't have to wait in massive lines to get in-- definitely nice. If you're planning to visit these places during the busy months of summer I'd recommend paying a little bit extra for an entrance reservation. When you only have a day or two to see everything you can't afford to stand in lines for hours!!
Florence was all about the art and museums for me-- Doug was a real trooper... he was willing to see everything that I wanted to see and he let me "teach" him all about the artists and stories behind the works of art we viewed :) He says that he actually really enjoyed it-- when you have some background info it can make the experience that much more amazing.
So if you ever visit Florence... my advice is to do a little bit of studying and read up on some of the famous paintings and sculptures-- if you're going to take the time to see them-- take the time to know something about it! That makes the experience so much more fascinating.
So that was Florence!
Next stop... the Cinque Terre!