First we went to see the Basillica di Santa Maria Novella, but couldn’t go in due to mass being on Sundays, but still enjoyed the beautiful outside. Then, we went to the Catedrale di Santa Marie del Flore, which is by far my favorite cathedral I have seen in Europe thus far. It is so magnificent and breathtaking in every way. This is in the middle of the city and is full of streets with pizzerias and gelatarias. After viewing the outside of the cathedral for a long while, we walked down many side streets of the city. They are all so narrow and have many people on vespas weaving through the crowds. We passed by all of the big museums admiring their size and the architecture even on the outside. We ended up meeting the water and we got to walk along side it and over the bridges as the sun was coming out and lighting the city.
Conner and I walked up to the Piazzale Michelangelo, the Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte, and the Cimitero delle Porte Sante. From the Piazzale Michelangelo you can get the most incredible view of the city. It took us a while to get up the steep hill with the many steps that led to it. It was pretty killer on the legs but worth it for the killer view. It was another perfect day with the sun out and the sky a bright blue. What an experience it is to see such beauty through your own eyes. I’m lucky to be here with Conner seeing the most amazing cities.
Next, we walked back down the steps (which were a lot less strenuous the second time around) to the Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze. Near there we grabbed a quick lunch and some gelato before walking to the Il Museo di San Marco where we sat in the circle for a while enjoying the weather. We walked through the university in the city and back toward the Catedrale di Santa Marie del Flore where there are lots of shops and beautifully filled streets. We spent many hours just walking the streets, through Christmas markets, and admiring the city. Florence has definitely stolen my heart.
Lastly, before dinner, we went up the Campanile di Giotto, where we had another incredible view of the city of Firenze. As the sun was beginning to set it cast an amazing light over the cathedral making it look even more magical. It was a long hike up, a good 400+ steps, but again well worth the view. After, we went to the Museo dell’ Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore that gave all the history of the cathedral. There was so much to learn about the cathedral that made it even that more intriguing.
We will be visiting the cathedral tomorrow to go up the dome of Duomo! Not excited for the 400+ more steps upwards again, but so excited to see what it holds at the top. Dinner was absolutely spectacular tonight. I had tortellini and Conner had a calzone. Italian food back home will never be the same!
It has been a very long day and with sore feet and tired legs we are resting to prepare for an even busier next few days! Tomorrow night we will be on our way to the next stop: Rome!