Tiny coffees, gelato mountains, visuals of god himself and stunning streets, I could of walked for days on end. Florence has everything! Florence, Italy was where we truely felt the heart of Europe, a world away from our gum trees and cockatoos. The Fiery red Giglio (Fleur De Lis), a symbol of beauty and strength, catching my eye around every corner. We explored til our feet hurt and our hearts were exploding from pure love for this city.
We started our day early with a walk to the greatest view of the city, atop Piazzale Michelangelo. A stunning lookout with a huge replica Michelangelo's David statue admiring his birthplace below.
TIP: There is minimum public transport, though you really won't need it. This is quite a small city, with tiny streets. Mini buses are used for a local transport system and it is advised to buy your tickets before getting onto the bus.
We made our way downhill, crossing the bridge and heading to the famous Caffe Gilli for our caffeine hit. Here, I purchased the world's most expensive and smallest coffee (figure of speech, though I have the photographic proof). We also experienced the 'coffee sculling culture' of Itlay. It still bewilders me to this day, read all about it here >>
This plaza contains the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, Bapistry of St John and Giotto's Bell Tower. These would have to be up in my top 3 buildings of our European Adventure, along with the Vitus Cathedral (Prague) and Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris). The incredible detail on every inch had me gobsmacked!
TIP: You can go inside Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, BUT, get there any later than 9am and you better be designing a new game plan for your day. The line for this Museum/Cathedral is phenomenal! We went down, just to see if we could jump on the line, at around 10am and boy did we let out a mutual 'Nope!' quick smart!
This, for me, was the first time I had ever seen God, himself, visually presented. Never had I known for him to be physically conceived, which made it especially surprising for me to see it on a church. The holy trio, stunningly placed above the front doors of the Cathedral, with open, welcoming arms for any visitor to this great city.
One particular love that had manifested during our trip was my intense admiration for pretty doors. Florence was the pinnacle of door prettiness. With the Bapistry taking the cake for Most stunning European Doors.
Curtis was determined to label my new found obsession 'crazy'. And just as I was rethinking my devotion of camera space to all the pretty pictures, we stumbled upon a shop which reassured my love was not so unorthodox! A shop filled with pottery plaques, replicas of all the wonderful archways, welcome areas and entrance ways that Florence had to share. I was in heaven and as I bathed in the comforting notion that I was not alone in love, Curtis simply walked away.... (probably in utter shame, but i think more so, in jealousy 😉 )
You can check out exactly where Michelangelo's David was first displayed and the story behind his creation in Piazza della Signoria. Along with the fountain of Neptune and a large display area of other incredible sculptures created during this time.
Florence reminded us of the simplicity of Adventure and the pleasures that needed no frills. A nice cool breeze to make all the walking a bit less achy, a cup of gelato and slice of pizza being our source of nutrition, how a street could almost bring me to tears with its sheer simple beauty. How I could've walked for days....
As I leave you with a couple more pictures of my new found admiration, i'd love to know if you have any tips on what we should check out on our next trip to Florence. Leave us a comment below the pretty doors...