Monday, June 4, 2012

Beautiful Florence

When we first booked our honeymoon the plan was to land in Rome immediately hop on the train and stay in Florence for 4 days, then come back to Rome for the remaining time. A few months before the wedding the thought of having to change hotels halfway through our honeymoon seemed less than appealing so we decided to stay in Rome the entire time and take day trips to neighboring cities. I am so glad we did this and it ended up working out great for us.

The train station or termini was a short 10 minute cab ride from our hotel. Our train left around 11 and we were in Florence by 12:15 or 12:30. The train was very nice. It was clean, the seats were roomy and they reclined a lot. We were expecting the train to be more like a plane but it was so much better. Plus there was a drink and food bar in the middle of the train! We took the Eurostar which is the faster of the two kinds of trains offered. It is more expensive but the other trains are not as nice and double your travel time. 
The view on the way into Florence. It was so nice to get out of the big city.

Our first stop in Florence was the Duomo. It was a short 10 minute walk from the train station. One thing we loved about Florence was that everything was within walking distance and you didn't have to worry about being run over by a taxi like you did in Rome.

Inside the church. I lit an candle and said a prayer for our family and our marriage.

After the Duomo we walked next door to the Bell Tower and climbed the over 400 stairs to the top. Every 100 steps or so they had a landing where you could look out to the city.

On the way up...

At the top! Our legs were tired but it was so beautiful!

I stood at the top for a while and just took in all the sights, smells, and cool breeze. Meanwhile J, who is afraid of heights waited back by the stairwell after getting a quick view:)

After our stair hiking we worked up quite an appetite and found a little restaurant on a side ride by the Duomo. 
A little sparkling wine makes everything better.

Pineapple, ham, and mushroom for J

Ham, artichoke, mushroom, and green peppers for me. I was totally surprised when my green peppers were actually yellow, but still tasted just like green.

After lunch we waited in line to see The David. Right after J snapped this picture a museum guard came running over screaming "no photos! no photos!" J gets embarrassed easily so I was hysterical. Not long after this a voice came over the intercom reminding people that photos are prohibited. At least he got an amazing picture.

By 7:00 we were ready to head back to the train station and ran into a protest along the way. The protest was extremely peaceful and the police escorted the protestors throughout the streets. We didn't feel unsafe at all.

J and I both agree that Florence was by far our favorite place. It was big but not too big. It was the perfect mix of country and city. It was exactly as I thought it would be. 

Next up, The Vatican!

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