We spent the week in Florence and I can see after being there why so many people have it on their list of places they’d like to visit. It’s beautiful! The streets are lined with historical landmarks, filled with art artifacts and trinkets. There are gelaterias and restaurants that line the courtyards that the streets spill into.
My favorite thing we did was attending the Sunday Mass at Santa Croce. This church was where Galileo, Michelangelo, and Machiavelli were buried–so it’s kind of a big deal! It’s spectacular, even down to the intricately carved deep green doors. The church service was in Latin (obviously), but the neatest part was when an American priest stood up and read the daily Scripture reading in English. All 4 of our children mentioned this as being their favorite part of the service. It was really a neat experience.
After seeing Santa Croce, we found another church (of which we only saw the outside) which I have no words to describe how beautiful it was. It was huge, lined with green, white, and pink marble. Up toward the top, there was Mary with baby Jesus carved out of marble in the center and on each side were 6 of the twelve disciples. The doors were wood, with engravings so full of incredible detail, I have never seen anything like it. I just stood in awe, taking the whole cathedral in. This–which I later found out–is called The Santa Maria del Fiore, or “The Dome” as the locals seemed to call it. I would love to go back and see the inside!
One evening my husband and I walked down to the Ponte Vecchio. This was truly the most romantic place to be. Right there in the middle of the bridge we were serenaded by a violinist and an upright bassist. it was truly the most romantic part of our whole time there–that is until a rose seller tried to sell us a rose and tried to make my husband look like the bad guy for not buying me a rose. Seriously–if my husband wanted to buy me a rose, he would. I wanted to say, “back off, buddy! I don’t want that stinking rose!” Eventually he moved on, thankfully.
One evening we went to see the Medici Dynasty Show–which was quite interesting! It was in English and gave us a really interesting overview on how Florence accumulated so much famous art artifacts. After that, I looked at Florence with a new awe and appreciation!
The food was pretty good–I felt like between the two, Naples pretty much blew Florence out of the water when it came to their pizza and pasta dishes–but then we found out that Florence is actually known for their steak. Um, we’re not big steak eaters, but we decided to try one one night. Seriously, if you go to Florence and you’re looking for some good food, be sure to order bistecca a la fiorentina! It was incredible!
Overall, I would love to go back to Florence. It is definitely a city worth visiting!