When I talk about our honeymoon trip to Italy, I often brush over Florence. I usually say, “it was fun, but I think I was just a little tired there.” Turns out we spent less than 48 hours in the city, so it’s no wonder I was tired and we didn’t see too much. Some of my friends absolutely love the city, which make sense, since it seems very hip and authentic. Even though we didn’t get to fully experience Florence, here is a quick taste.
Our hotel, Hotel Hermitage, was right by the river on the south edge of the city, Fiume Arno. We could see the Ponte Vecchio, a cool bridge with shops and galleries, from our hotel window. Even though it is a modest little hotel, the views were amazing and it was well positioned for touristing. George and I spent a lot of time sitting in the window, drinking wine, and watching the street and river below.
That’s George up in the window there. He had me go out across the street to take this photo. It’s nice to know I’m not the only picture-crazy one.
We started our only full day in Florence by climbing the Duomo at the Florence Cathedral. I’m a little afraid of heights, so when we were inside the church’s dome, I made sure to just look up at the beautifully painted ceilings. Looking down made me a little sick.
So after we see the inside of the painted Duomo, I think we’re done, but we keep climbing up. And higher still. There are little windows out of the side of the building that give beautiful views of the city below. But eventually we’ve climbed so high into the dome that the ceilings are sloping in on us and we have to climb vertically, like on a ladder. When we finally get to the top, it turns out we’re on the outside edge of the top of the Duomo. Which is awesome, but terrifying.
I did enjoy the view, as my fear of heights isn’t crippling. Plus, it was amazing to see all the buildings below and the beautiful mountains in the distance. I did stick close to the inside of the structure, snapped some photos, and looked around. Then we had to wait in line to climb down hundreds of steps. Also, I was wearing a maxi skirt, which I don’t recommend for stair climbing.
Another must-see in Florence is Michelangelo’s David sculpture, which is in the Galleria dell’Accademia. Honestly, it was nice to see the David in real life, but we had more fun in some of the other sculpture rooms. They had hundreds of the original plaster molds for famous sculptures all over Italy. We may or may not have taken multiple pictures mimicking the statue’s poses.
That night we ate pizza on the hotel roof deck and drank way too much wine. Then next day we did a quick run around town before picking up our rental car. That’s right, George drove in Italy. We were headed to Livorno, a small port city on the Western coast of Italy. I’ll share our adventures there next time.