Florence is one of the most prominent cities in Europe. But the articles, the pictures or the videos never appealed to me enough to put it on my bucket list. But, then my husband and I planned a trip to Italy and decided to check out what the fuss was all about. And boy was I taken aback. When we stepped on to the cobblestoned streets, strolled in the allies, visited the Duomo, we realized we had stepped back in time and the past was inviting us in for a tour.
While in Florence, we hit all the major attractions. The Uffizi was our favorite. Even though we are not art connoisseurs, the detail, the importance, the value of the artworks was not lost on us. We spent a whole day in the Uffizi and felt we were short of time.Even without the story behind the painting or the symbolism, I remember standing in front of Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus ” and seeing the personification of love-beauty-innocence-purity. I was simply mesmerized.
Michelangelo’s David was another artwork I will never forget. When we walked into the corridor that leads to David, I was taken aback by his grandeur. I had read a lot about David while researching for our trip, but actually seeing him in person, I was stunned. When Michelangelo was asked how he sculpted David, he had replied:
In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.
Even before it was finished, I think Michelangelo knew he was on the path to create one of the greatest sculptures of the time. Due to it’s brilliant verisimilitude, I felt like he will at any moment step down from the pedestal and walk out of the Academia Gallery with me.
After being drowned in the Renaissance period, we decided to do a Chianti Vespa Tour just outside of Florence for a change of scenery. Driving the vespa through the green valleys of Chianti is an experience I will remember forever. Our guide was fantastic. He made the experience even better. He took us to a local cafe, where we relished an awesome cup of cappuccino. Continuing on our vespa, we stopped at a vista point to witness a beautiful sunset over the serene olive groves and vineyards. The night ended with wine and cheese tasting under the moonlit sky. I felt like we were in a black and white movie. I will highly recommend taking a break from the serious touristing and spending a relaxed evening exploring in the countryside.
Oh and the food in Florence was simply heavenly. Being vegetarians, we were a little worried about the options we would have. But, there was plenty to choose from. The Margherita DOP Pizza at Fuoco Matto was too good. Even with such basic ingredients, it is very tasty. We ended up eating there twice. 🙂 Another good restaurant we tried was Alimentari Uffizi, which was very conveniently located next to the Uffizi. We tried their gnocchi and eggplant parmesan, and with every bite was a flavor bomb exploding in my mouth. I think Italian food outside of Italy is forever ruined for us!
We loved everything about Florence – the people, the food, the art, the buildings, the air; it was like living one big museum that you can not cover in one visit. And I feel we barely scratched the surface with our first visit. On our last day, we visited the Piazzale Michelangelo and the view of Florence from there was just picture perfect. It was like the perfect postcard urging me to jump back in and lose myself in it forever.
Arrivederci Firenze! 🙂