Sunday, December 7, 2014

Florence, Italy

After a great couple of days in Rome we headed to Florence.  We arrived in Florence at 4:00 pm and walked about 15 minutes to our bed and breakfast.  Our bed and breakfast was right down the street from this place . . .
We dropped off our bags and then headed to the bell tower hoping to make it to the top before the sunset.  That was a good workout considering we had about 15 minutes!
 We made it!

Our next stop was dinner.  We found a great place with wonderful food.
We walked around a little bit before heading back for the night.  We walked across the Ponte Vecchio bridge which has lots of shops.  They were all closed but the bridge was still packed with people listening to live music.
 Ponte Vecchio at night.
  We walked through Jake's favorite square which has lots of sculptures including this replica of David.

 We had some great gelato!
The next morning we enjoyed a great breakfast.  Our bed and breakfast didn't have breakfast at the hotel but they had vouchers for breakfast at a nearby restaurant.  It was really good.  The chocolate cake I had that morning was AMAZING!

Jake's parents started their morning by going to Uffizi Gallery.  Here are a few of their pictures.

 We read about this before we went to Italy but a few of the paintings at the Uffizi have been turned into a relief sculpture, which is a sculpture of the painting so if you are visually impaired you can still enjoy the art.  I thought that was really neat.

We opted to skip the Uffizi since I had a feeling we might be a bit tired of museums and looking at art that we don't know anything about.  Instead of going to the art museum we went to an old pharmacy (or as Jake called it, a pharmacary). It turns out learning a new language sometimes makes you sound like an idiot in your first language.
We met up with Jake's parents and then walked through the Galileo Museum.  It was interesting.
The museum had Galileo's index finger, thumb and middle finger.  Why? I have no idea!  We did see lots of other things that were cool and a lot less creepy!
A few thermometers and Archimedes screw.
After the museum we stopped for lunch.  Jake and I had sandwiches and Jake's parents stopped at another cafe.
 Dried meat anyone?

We sat on the curb and enjoyed our sandwiches.  It was great!
After lunch Jake and I did some shopping while Janet and Ken did a little exploring on their own.  We met up again at 3:00 pm to see David at the Accademia Gallery.  I prepurchased tickets for both museums which was great because then we could just walk right in.  There wasn't much we wanted to see other than David at the museum but we found some other neat sculptures.

After the museum we grabbed some gelato at a place Lisa recommended.  She lived in Florence for a little while and let's just say, she knows her gelato!  It was great!
We did a little shopping at a leather market.  I bought a small purse I could carry my phone, camera and wallet in.  Jake had been carrying my phone in his pocket and I had been carrying the camera in the camera bag but I didn't like not having my phone.

We also stopped by Basilica di Santa Croce, where Michelangelo is buried.

We walked across a bridge and up a hill to get a view of Florence at night.  It was really pretty.

 After hanging out at the top of the hill we decided to go find some dinner.  It was dark enough as we were going down the hill that we were using our phones as flashlights. As we were walking down the hill we walked by this grotto.
We were talking and I said that I heard water coming from the left.  Janet said she thought it was coming from the right.  I said I was pretty sure it was the left as well and Jake decided he would go check it out.  The next thing that happened was the funniest part of our whole trip. The next thing we know we hear a big commotion and a splash.  Jake thought he was stepping over a curb onto cement to get closer to the grotto to see if he could hear or find some water.  Well, he found the water.
You can't really tell from the top picture but you can in the bottom picture.  He fell most of the way in.  The water wasn't very deep but he wasn't expecting his foot to go down so he lost his balance.  He was holding his phone in his right hand which was fortunate so he could try to keep it out of the water while he propped himself up with his left hand.  He was soaked.  He was also wearing our backpack for the first and only time on the trip but he didn't have my phone in his pocket.  Remember how I bought a new purse about two hours before this?  Even if I hate the purse it was worth it just to not have it get wet.
This picture helps you to see the situation a little better.  One reason he might not have noticed the water was because it was covered in green algae/moss.

Needless to say, Jake wanted to go back to the bed and breakfast to shower and change before heading to dinner.  I went with him.  We laughed the entire way back.  It was hilarious!  I still can't believe he fell in.  I knew I heard water :).

We made it back quickly and Jake was able to shower and change his clothes.  He was bummed though because he only had one pair of shoes and the shirt and jeans he wore were both clean.  Thankfully, he was able to borrow a pair of his dad's shoes and after he changed his clothes he was good to go.
After Jake was ready to go we found a place for dinner.  Dinners were hard because lots of places wanted you to make reservations but we never knew where we would be around dinner time.  We found a great place with a fun waiter and didn't have to wait too long for a table.

The colors aren't great on the food pictures because we were sitting outside and there were red heaters on but the food was great.  I had fettuccine alfredo which is my favorite pasta dish and my dessert was awesome as well.

The next morning was Jake's 30th birthday.  We had breakfast together and then did a little shopping at one of the leather markets.

 We walked around a market that was neat and would have been fun for lunch but we weren't hungry yet.  They did offer cooking classes which sounded like fun, maybe next time.

 We went back to Piazza del Signoria which was Jake's favorite piazza for lunch.  It has lots of different sculptures.

Jake's birthday dessert!
 We stopped by the Duomo.  I really liked this candle holder.

We picked up our bags and walked to the train station.  We left at 4:30 pm and arrived in Venice at 6:35 pm.  We felt like two days was the perfect amount of time in Florence.  We saw what we wanted to see and we walked around the city several times enjoying the shops and gelato.  Now on to Venice, the city I was most excited to visit!

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