October 26th
2009
written by Alonna

 
Florence from Piazza Michelangelo

Ben and I spent a full 7 nights in an apartment in Florence.  It was perfect, and exactly the relaxing break that we needed. Staying put in one place (and knowing it in advance) allowed us to enjoy some things we’d been craving… examples: “Colorado Bulldog” drinks and a puzzle.
 
Colorado Bulldogs Mid-way through the puzzle Puzzle of the Sistine Chapel

We spent a lot of time in this cute little apartment, so I thought I’d share some photos:
 
apartment_01 Narrow and winding stares Florence apartment living room


Florence

The city itself is small but bustling, with major history and museums.  Florence was birthplace of the Italian Renaissance – where finally Europe came out of the dark ages and made major cultural strides in art, science, music, philosophy, etc.  Most of the main artists from this time were from or lived in Florence (Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, Raphael, Donatello, etc).

Besides hanging out at the apartment, we basically just wandered around the city.  We did have a couple must-see items on our list, which we managed to squeeze in between the puzzle and Colorado Bulldogs: Uffizi Gallery (amazing Italian art), Academia (museum with Michelangelo’s “David”), the Duomo (big beautiful cathedral that dominates the city skyline), and Piazza Michelangelo (up on a hill with great city views).  Here’s some photos:
 
Ponte Vecchio bridge Florence, Italy Ben & Alonna View from Ufizi Gallery   Duomo (cathedral) Florence Duomo Santa Maria Novella Church Front of St. Maria Novella Church

One of the highlights for me was seeing Michelangelo’s David.  It’s very obvious why this statue is famous.  For one, it’s enormous – apparently the first giant statue since Roman times.  And I’ve been told that it perfectly embodies the “Renaissance Man” – strong, determined, and beautifully made by God.  But the key is simply that it’s very beautiful.  We’ve seen a lot of sculptures, new and old, but for me this one blows all of them out of the water. I secretly snapped this photo of David (photos not allowed). Unfortunately I think it’s impossible to show the scale in a photo. The second photo below is another cool statue I liked of Perseus with the head of Medusa.
 
Michelangelo's David Cool statue - Perseus with Head of Medusa

A random side note – I bought a pair of jeans in Florence from H&M.  In general jeans are a big no-no for backpacking (heavy and take forever to dry), but I have to say, it feels so great to have jeans again!  I think I’ve worn them every day since I bought them.

Anyway, we just spent 2 nights in the Cinque Terre, five towns beautifully situated on the Italian Riviera.  Today we traveled to Siena, stopping for the afternoon in Pisa (where the famous leaning tower is).  Photos coming soon.

5 Comments

  1. Robin Scott
    10/26/2009

    Wow. So great. Glad you are really enjoying and relaxing in Italy!!

    Love to you both,
    Mom

  2. Mom Albertus
    10/27/2009

    Love it! You two are quite the travelers. I can’t imagine dong so many fun things in one trip!!! I want to taste one of those Colorado Buldogs some time. I’ve never heard of that before. Keep the pictures coming!

  3. Eric Lipari
    11/04/2009

    Florence is a great city.
    HAHA, it’s sad I know the H&M you’re talking about. My sister spent some time in that store.
    Very nice picture of David, mine came out crooked. What was your scheme? I waited until security yelled at someone on the OTHER side of the room to signal that I was free to snap pictures without being caught.
    I too thought the statue of Perseus was very cool. It must be Florence with all that great art around.

  4. 11/05/2009

    Actually it was easy to get that picture of David… I took about 3. There didn’t really seem to be anyone watching, although I was pretty discreet just in case.

  5. Eric Lipari
    11/05/2009

    Lucky. Maybe it’s also cause I was there in the summer when the place was overcrowded with tourists so security was tighter/meaner/ more on top of things. Great pic, indeed an amazing statue to see in person.