Many cities in Italy require a special permit to drive a car in the central city area, in order to reduce congestion. So, we drove to the Florence airport, parked the car in long-term parking, and took the bus into Florence to the main train station, conveniently just a few blocks from our hotel. We were upgraded to a large room with a spacious bathroom, both rarities in European hotels. Fabric on the walls again, matching curtains and all.We unintentionally arrived at sunset again, so we had a lovely stroll through Piazza di Santa Maria Novella on our way to dinner.
We enjoyed a fantastic meal at Il Latini, a recommendation from Jane, who lived in Florence for a month. It was wonderful – from the decor, to the waiters, to the mixed meat platter, to the pasta, to the roast chicken, to the house wine, to the creme caramel, to the limoncello on the house. A little window shopping after dinner.
The next morning after a lovely breakfast we shopped at the nearby market. Florence is a hub of shopping activity, and we enjoyed walking around the San Lorenzo market, shopping, bargaining, taking it all in.
We had a nice al fresco lunch that became “our spot” for the next day too when we revisited the market. Aunt Chris’ drink is caffe shakerato, iced coffee. I love that name. How lovely are these two ladies?!
We then headed to the Galleria dell’Accademia to see our first David of the day. Michelangelo’s David is at the Accademia, however there are also two replicas in other areas of the city. Seeing Michelangelo’s work is moving.
I love the detail in his hand. I don’t remember what this sculpture is, but there’s just something about a kid and a dog.
Florence is a very walkable city, so we enjoyed walking around on a beautifully sunny day, stopping for gelato when necessary. Il Duomo di Firenze is striking against the blue sky.
We meandered toward the river, stopping where one of the David replicas is located.
Ponte Vecchio. We took a bus to Piazza Michelangelo, which offers another David replica and stunning views of Florence and the Tuscan countryside. Back in our neighborhood we had another great meal. I cannot get over these fabric pockets for bread. Lasagne, Florentine crepes (amazing), pesto pasta. The next morning we headed back to the market for more shopping, caffe, cannoli, and a (free!) cup for Uncle Dave. Back to the airport, grab the car, off to Cortona!