HERE is the photo album for Florence.
We got into Florence, or Firenze as it’s called in Italy, once again very late and couldn’t find the hotel. We knew enough to call ahead and make reservations but the directions and the map were very confusing. We FINALLY found the hotel but it was not exactly what we thought it would be. Even though it was recommended by Frommer’s the rooms were like a furnace, and Steve & Darcella’s ‘shower’ consisted of a shower curtain hanging around a drain in the tiny bathroom floor. There was exposed wiring in the walls in the hallway as well as several scary holes. Now, does this sound like the Hotel Ritz online? No… Although we did have a good view of the Arno River and they DID have an elevator!
We had dinner not far from the hotel and nearly got ran over several times by Vespas who apparently always have the right of way.
The next morning we went to the big city square in Florence and it was extremely congested and crowded. Keep in mind, this was supposedly off-season so word to the wise: NEVER try and venture some place like this during peak travel season.
We saw the replica of the statue of David but the line to get inside was a 2 hour wait so we decided to get something to eat first.
We got lost looking for a specific restaurant but eventually found it and it was worth it the walk. If anyone ever goes to Florence you just have to go to Il Lintino. The second you sit down they begin bringing you things and I really don’t think we ever even ordered. It was one of the best tasting and inexpensive meals we had in Italy. In the beginning Scott was having a panic attack because they were bringing us courses like chicken livers on crackers and he was afraid he was going to have to pay for all the stuff he wasn’t eating. However when the dessert time came, he was all into it. Just when we thought it was over they brought us home made biscotti with sweet wine to dip it into. Okay, so we are just about to pop when they bring us a round of champagne! It was wonderful! Supposedly if you go there and there is a wait, the wait staff serves cheese and wine to those in line.
We wandered around some more and did some shopping. There is a famous bridge there, the Ponte Vecchio, the only original bridge not blown up by the Germans so we visited and took pictures.
We tried to go back and see David but the line would not have permitted us to get inside before they closed.
Scott and Steve went up to a lookout and stayed for 2 hours watching the sun go down to get just the perfect picture of Florence at night. That night we had dinner at Faggio’s which the best soup I have ever had – tomato, bread, and white bean.
The next day we went up into the Duomo of Florence, the 4th largest Cathedral in the world and is made out of white, red, and green marble which shows up beautifully even at night. There were 463 steps to get up there! Once up there though, we had the most scenic views of the city. It was hard to believe that all of this was built without the use of scaffolding.
We also visited a leather school which was attached to a monastery in Florence. I bought some leather things there and had monograms embossed. I got a purse, only they messed up on mine and of course I had got the LAST one like that and had to settle for something that was my second choice. Ughh…
After that visit, we left for Capri. This day was my Mom’s birthday but I couldn’t call her until later because of the time difference.
I have to say that I was more than a little disappointed in Florence. I have had so many people tell me that I would just love it and that I wouldn’t want to leave. The fast-paced energy in Florence was so busy that I felt like I was in the middle of downtown Dallas. I thought for some reason that Florence would be small town vintage Italy, but it was very big city to me. It seemed very touristy.