Happy Wednesday! It's HUMP day friends and I'm pretending while I drink my morning cup of coffee that it is Friday...it's all about positive thinking, right?
While reality gets in the way of that, I wanted to share some moments from our time in Florence. It's been a little over a month since I shared pictures from the Barcelona part of our trip, and I hope to wade through all our pictures from Rome in the next week so.
Fair warning, the rest of this post will be a big heap of photos...if you don't care about Florence, jump ship now:)
May 14 - 16, 2014
We spent May 14-16 in Florence and enjoyed each second of it. We heard over and over that Florence can be done in one day and after visiting, I completely agree. The city of Florence can be done in one day. But if you like wine and want to take in Tuscany, spend two days.
I broke these pictures up into our time in Florence proper and our time in the countryside wine tasting. If you have any questions on where we went or who we used for tours, don't hesitate to ask!
The Duomo, or the Cattedrale de Danta Maria del Fiore: We didn't pay for a guided or audio tour, but we did have our cathedral book and used it to walk through the church. It is such a powerful building to be right in the middle of Florence. The exterior is so dramatic with every inch covered in green, pink, or white marble; just beautiful. It was quite interesting though to find the inside much more understated. Out of all the churches we visited, I thought the Duomo was the most plain on the inside.
The Ponte Vecchio Bridge: We spent a lot of time walking along the river and taking in the breathtaking view. I felt like we were in a movie while we strolled, looking in shop windows and listing to bits in a pieces of Italian conversation as we passed through crowds. It was so neat. This bridge was the first bridge across the Arno Rier and is the only surviving bridge from World War II. It is lined with shops selling most jewelry, but as you walk further you will find all kinds of leather shops and eateries.
My first monk experience...it had to be captured.
The older white haired woman is the owner of a boutique on the bridge road and she gave me one of my favorite moments on the trip. Before we went to Italy I thought hard about what I wanted to bring home and decided that I really wanted a Italian Leather jacket. I knew Florence was the place to get one, but I was having such a hard time finding the right one. We were close to heading back to the hotel when we went into a purse shop. While we were talking to the owner he said that if we were looking for a jacket, Anna was the place to go. The shop had been there for almost 60 years and the owner was passionate about the quality and design of each piece. On we went, and let me tell you, I felt like I was Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (minus the hooker part). They took us into a basement room lined with amazing pieces. The first one the woman handed me I loved and that was it. While I was checking out she said you must meet Anna, she is in the office today. She was such a lovely woman. I gave her a big Texas hug, took a picture with her, and promised I would always remember the time Tanner and I went to Florence found a beautiful jacket and got to meet the 80+ owner and design. How neat!
The Academia ~ The David: You can't take pictures but you don't need to. Tanner and I were both surprised at how much we loved The David. It was so, so neat. Take it in from every side and imagine what it took to create that (Note: Buy your tickets ahead of time). We also visited The Galleria Degli Uffizi. The art and sculptures there were just amazing! It is a must!
Oh you know, cheese just curing on hay in the basement.
Cafaggio Winery - Amazing tour, Amazing Wine.
Poggio Amorelli - Beautiful family owned winery with a fun tour, and a lunch that was to.die.for.
Small Village I Can't Remember the Name Of
Ok, back to that story of ending up at a policeman's house...
During one of our many stops on the side of the winding roads of Tuscany to take pictures, I decided it would be a great idea to absolutely get caught in the moment and leave my phone sitting on a fence post.
The Phone sitting there in plain sight...
I didn't realize this little fact until a 45 minute drive and a about a two hour wining tasting...Upon realizing this, I panicked and then decided we had to go back and see if it was there. Marella said she would do whatever we wanted to do but warned me that iPhone in Italy are rare and it will likely not be there. Sure enough, it was gone. I couldn't let a lost phone ruin a once in a lifetime day in Tuscany, so we moved on with the day, found new vineyards and enjoyed the next few hours. While we were sipping, Marella was calling village after village looking for my phone. She finally got a hold of a police station that asked, "Is she blonde?" This policeman had been running after blonde woman all day in his and surrounding villages looking for me! I was so shocked. I couldn't believe she spent so much time looking and I couldn't believe that someone had turned it in a policeman that had spent time trying to get it back to me. The only caveat was we would have to taxi it back to the village the next morning to get it, but at this point, I didn't care. We laughed and drank more amazing wine in celebration. So how did we end up at a Carabinieri's house? Well, right before we made it back into the city limits, Marella told us she had one more surprise. As she drove us down a dirt road, Tanner and I both started to get a little nervous. When we stopped in front of an old barn with a rather large Italian man in front we got a little more nervous. As he walked up to my window and started pointing yelling in Italian at me, I was confused/freaking out. Marella then turned around and said, he is saying, "Its You, Its You". Then he walked around the van, opened the door, and handed me my phone. He had brought it home and they had worked it out where we could meet so Tanner and I wouldn't have to take a taxi back the next morning. After many hugs and thanks, we tried to pay him for his kindness. When we offered wine, he laughed and made a comment that it was like water to him. Then offered us two bottles from his families winery. AMAZEFEST. There are no words for how amazing the day was. So many ups and downs throughout the day and such a neat look into Tuscany.
Florence was amazing, but the wine tour was our favorite part. I would go back just to spend time in Greve and the other small villages in Tuscany and Sienna. It was magical.
Hope you liked the pictures, sorry it was such along post!