Thursday, June 16, 2011


We arrived in Florence just in time to catch the last bus to the hostel. Ostella Camerata is also outside of the city center, but only 1 bus ride away.

We arrived in the dark and if it wasn't for the other two girls we met on the bus who were also staying at Camerata, we would not have walked down the long dark road through the woods that is actually the correct road to take. The hostel is a very nice villa with fireplaces on the staircase, a painted dome in the lobby, gardens, and balconies in the bathroom. Its been nice staying a little outside of the cities, and cheaper. And this one has free breakfast (or calzones depending on who you ask).

Our first day in Firenze was a Monday, so most of the museums and such are closed. But the Duomo was open. The entire complex is actually eight buldings, but we decided to stand in the first line we saw. How lucky that this was the line for the cupola, so after more than 400 spiral stairs and narrow passage ways we got to walk along the inside edge of the dome to see the fresco (it reminded me of the Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel, but with more fire).

Then after a few more narrow passages with two way traffic, we were on the roof. Florence has quite a few buildings that tower over the rest of the city (including the bell tower, which started another conversation about how far you could throw a frisbee - would it make it to the roof of the bell tower?).

On the way down, you walk along the level of the giant stained glass windows on the dome.
While searching for lunch a group of guys yelled Go Blue to us, so we said it back, but then realized none of us were wearing Michigan gear, so how did they know where we're from? Turns out one of them recognized Nick from a class. Michigan alums really are everywhere. After lunch we went shoe shopping. I can't afford all the Italian shoes I want, but they were so tempting and playing dress up was fun. 

We also went window shopping on Ponte Vecchio. Its the only brige that survived WWII bombings. At one time, it used to be all butchers shops, but one of the Medicis did not like that, so he ordered them all the be changed to gold or silversmith shops. Its really good window shopping.

We watched most of sunset from Pilazzo Michelangelo. I also haggled the price of a purse down to 25% of the original price. I had pretty much destroyed the one I brought to Europe by putting far too much stuff in it until it ripped. We had wine and made tomato mozzerella salads that evening (basically bruchetta without the bread).

The next day we went to the Uffizzi Gallery and saw notable renaissance art like Botticelli's Birth of Venus and La Primavera, and the first painting Da Vinci painted.  Supposedly there's some famous art in the Louvre and the British Museum, but idk, most of it seems to be in Italy. What I'll remember most about Florence is probably sitting by the river at sunset just past Ponte Vecchio and reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment