jeudi, avril 14, 2016

Florence, Italy

Last October, Denise and I went to Florence for a long weekend. We girls had great fun visiting and shopping in Florence.

As the flight was really early, I slept over at Denise's the night before and we took a cab to the airport at 5.15am. Once we reached Florence, a guide brought our group on a 2 hours walking tour around the center. She told us the history of the city and recommended us the museums and attractions worth seeing. She even pointed out where we could make reservations to cut the long queue for museums.
Once we were on our own, we decided to reserve tickets to visit the Uffizi Gallery first. It is one of the world's top art musuem and constantly has a long queue. The booking office was hidden along a building wall along the main street. I had paid attention when the guide told us about that office. The rest of the tour did not manage to find that office when we met them the next morning at the breakfast room.

Uffizi Gallery was remarkable. It was very crowded too. The Renaissance masterpieces were amazing.

On the second day, we visited Florence's cathedrale, the Duomo.We walked up the 463 steps to the top of the cupola. We went there early and managed to avoid the crowd. The view of Florence was beautiful. 

We then stopped for a sandwich lunch nearby the Duomo. The owner and his two staff spent time explaining to every customer the choice of local ham and cheese available. We were able to sample them before deciding which ham and cheese to have with the bread and vegetables. It was slow food at its best. We ordered wine to go with our sandwiches. This place was a tourist attraction by itself. You can read the reviews from Tripadvisor here.

In the evening, we walked up the bell tower, the Campanile which was just beside the Duomo. It was another 414 steps up. We had a different view as we could see the cathedrale. Denise and I were happily taking photos when the bells rang in the tower. It was really really loud. There was an old bell displayed and it was huge.

 Without the kids, we walked a lot and that was the best way to visit Florence. There was no need for public transport. Except for a morning when we took a bus to visit The Mall factory outlet. Girls being girls. We had to do some shopping therapy.

Below is the Rape of the Sabine women at the open museum, Loggia dei Lanzi. There were other impressive statues at this open square. It was really crowded.

We spent our next two days visiting the Central market, the Palazzo Vecchio Museum and Tower, and the Pitti Palace and its garden. We walked along the old bridge, Ponte Vecchio a few times. There were mainly jewellery shops which were beyond my budget. Can see, cannot buy. We ate good food and also lots of Grom ice cream. The sorbets were really delicious. 

Denise is interested in photography and I picked up a few tips from her. We had fun snapping away. We paired up well. I was the google map and she was the Tripadvisor. It was a really nice trip; away from the boys, visiting a new city and doing girly stuff.

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