|this is the view from our bed :)|
We took the train from Bologna to Florence. Very fast and we arrived at train station Santa Maria Novella. Since we thought that there were no cars allowed in the heart of Florence where our hotel was located we decided to walk. Very hot June weather and my husband had never seen me hustle so quickly. Amazing what the dream of air-conditioning will do to propel you forward.
|tiny hotel sign|
Our hotel was the Granduomo and it was great. We had a kitchen and even got upgraded to a superior room because it was our 10th anniversary. We got a very thorough tour (keep in mind I'm wanting to just lie in the bed with the A/C on) that took a good 10 minutes around the property. You couldn't be closer to the Duomo - yes, this is the view from our bedroom window.
You almost miss this hotel because it's entrance is next to the Ben & Jerry's. Yes, there is an American ice cream company competing with some of the best gelato in the world. Go figure. And no I did not go in for any Cherries Garcia.
|breakfast basket with Nutella; bottles of water and apricot juice in the fridge|
|You wonder what this little giftbox is in the washroom?|
|lovely view of Florence from the top - gorgeous at night|
Next we went searching for a restaurant recommended to us by our tour guide from Bologna.
Il Porcupino is almost back at the train station. Pretty good food.
|love these deep fried zucchini blossoms|
|ravioli - okay but not the best|
|yum to parmesan and beef carpaccio|
|awesome carousel at night|
The next day my husband went out early to the market.
He'd seen these lampredetto tripe sandwiches on Food Network and he was not disappointed.
|one of his favourite things the whole trip|
One of the biggest draws for Florence was seeing the Galileo Museum. My husband is definitely not a science geek but he has a thing for Galileo. Lucky for him the museum opened the week before we arrived. Beautiful, bright, clean, modern, and virtually empty - awesome!
|Galileo's telescopes - helping to prove the Earth was round|
They even had Galileo's finger on display that someone had stolen. Out of respect my husband ended up deleting all the photos. In fact, we weren't supposed to take any photos but the museum is so new they didn't have time to put the signs up yet!
We also did the standard Accademia Gallery where I marvelled at David for a good 45 minutes. Seriously did not understand what the deal was until we got there. Have you ever been turned on by a sculpture before? Didn't think it could happen until I stared at his rock hard abs and ass until my husband pulled me away. Even managed to sneak in an iPhone pic.
We needed a snack between museums so where did we go? Sadly it's in my nature during the Italian afternoon break to find the only place I know will be open - the fancy department store's cafe on the terrace. Regardless of what city you're in you'll find this open just at the right time for a glass of ice coffee.
|beautiful view of Florence rooftops|
|tourists and locals|
Later on in the day we took on the Uffizi Gallery. By the way I bought tickets for both Uffizi and Accademia online ahead of time and it was brilliant. Saved us a huge wait in line (from 4 hours down to 10 minutes) and we got to reserve what 15 minute time slot we would show up at the gate to enter. It is plausible to do both in the same day, especially if you are a museum "skimmer" like I am.
Fanfiction Alert - for all you University of Edward Masen fans - yes I spent a lot of time with the Botticelli paintings in the Uffizi trying to figure out which ones they talk about. Definitely had a wonderful romantic vibe to all of Florence reflecting back on E&B time here.
|Ponte Vecchio - site of heated E&B kiss from UoEM|
Alle Murate - The super fancy restaurant that Edward takes Bella too is beautiful on the outside but I couldn't justify an expensive meal to my husband in the name of fanfic.
More good food for dinner. I found a cheaper spot for locals that served decent food.
|yummy liver pate|
That night we also set out on a hair raising adventure of finding the best gelato in the world. I don't know why it seems that every time we do this I end up navigating us through dark dank alleys. But we did find it!
Vivoli Gelato in Florence - I thought it was the best of the trip. My husband differs but I can't wait to go back. There's no one for blocks and it's not the best neighbourhood and this place is hopping! Full of tourists and locals.
Walking home we pass may bars and everyone is glued to watching the World Cup. The universal language of sports and alcohol together.
|even the women are watching World Cup|
Seriously funky dresses. Thinking that Italian brides can get away with a lot more than we can at home. Some of these don't look so friendly for a Catholic church wedding.
Apologies for not having as many photos for this trip. It was too bloody hot and too many tourists to pull out the big SLR all the time.
Okay, next we move on to Tuscany which means Montepulciano and Volterra!