Tag: Forence

Florence is my Valentine

Florence is my Valentine

Making last minute plans with two of my girlfriends to spend Valentine’s weekend in Florence turned into one of my favorite trips so far.

Our journey started at 5:30 AM Saturday morning and we arrived in Florence around noon. We went straight to the Accamedia Galleria where Michelangelo’s David statue stands. As we expected there was a huge line into the museum, so we ended up waiting for our Valentine’s date with David for almost 2 hours. He was worth the wait. Standing at an impressive 17 feet, this biblical character is depicted beautifully.  The details and life-likeness blew my mind, Michelangelo knew what he was doing. The rest of this Galleria housed Renaissance and Medieval style works. Many of them featured the Virgin Mary, Christ, or other scenes from Christianity.

A much needed lunch stop was next on our agenda. We refueled with some pizza at a small cafe, then headed to our hotel to drop off our things. Where we stayed was steps away from The Duomo so we made climbing to the top our next mission. And I’m sad to admit that this mission was unsuccessful. We waited in line for 45 minutes only to get inside and realize that to enter you have to purchase tickets at a different location. Embarrassed, we circled the building to find the ticket line. That line would have taken over an hour to wait in, then we’d have to get back in the other line, and then climb to the top of the Duomo…We had to cross this sight off our list.

To lift our spirits we went to Vivoli Gelateria–the best gelato we’ve had, and then hiked up to Michelangelo’s Piazza. This hilltop piazza offers an incredible view of the whole city and was completely worth the trek. After taking in the scenery we made our way back across the river for dinner. Thanks to a guide book tip, we had a delicious meal at Osteria Dei Benci. This quaint restaurant was not one we would’ve walked into on our own, but turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. The menu was reasonably priced so we treated ourselves to appetizers and dessert. It was the perfect way to end Valentine’s Day.

Sunday morning brought us to the Uffizi Galleria. To make our early afternoon train we allotted ourselves 2 hours in the museum, but we could’ve easily spent more than 3. The most famous painting in the gallery is The Birth of Venus, which I was thrilled to see in person. Overall, the museum was beautiful, and would be worth a 2nd visit. We took one last walk by the river before boarding our train for Rome. Florence stole my heart–I couldn’t have asked for a better Valentine’s Day.

Adventures in Tuscany

Adventures in Tuscany

This past weekend, I ventured out on my own (well, with four friends) and went to Tuscany.  I had so many expectations about Tuscany. Being the pop culture junkie, I formed all my expectations from movies set in Tuscany.  Under the Tuscan Sun is my favorite; if you want to experience Tuscany vicariously through Diane Lane’s character, watch this movie.  Anyways, back to my expectations: they were completely exceeded.

The Tuscan region is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  We started in Florence, which is known for its leather.  Florence is a very small town, and everything seems to be in walking distance from each other.  We went to the Duomo and the Affizi Gallery, where Michelangelo’s “The David” is.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures inside the gallery, but The David was probably my favorite thing about Florence.  The sculpture is so lifelike and it is amazing how much detail was put into it.  Pictured below is the Duomo.

On Saturday, my friends and I went on a bus tour throughout the Tuscan region.  We made stops in Siena, Chianti, and Pisa.  In Siena, we took a walking tour throughout the city.  It was a cute city and the tour was nice, but it was freezing! There was snow everywhere, which depresses me, because I have been getting emails from my mom bragging that it is 60 degrees and sunny in Cleveland.

In Chianti, we had a nice lunch and a wine with olive oil tasting.  We had bread, pasta with meat sauce (the first meat sauce I’ve had here) and an antipasti meat platter.  The meal was at an agriturismo, which is a type of farm.  The farm we were at was organic, so all the delicious food we ate was organic.  It was a great lunch, and after the lunch we took the bus to Pisa.

Pisa was a very, very small town.  The main part of town was a duomo and the Leaning Tower.  I was excited to see the Leaning Tower because it’s such a popular landmark.  My friends and I had to take cheesy pictures by the tower posing like we were hugging it, kicking it, and holding it, of course.

The tour was great and we were exhausted afterwards.  We got McDonalds (yes… McDonalds… in Italy) and went to bed.  Sunday we explored a little bit more and headed back to the John Felice Rome Center.  It was a great adventure and I absolutely cannot wait for our next one in Venice!