Florence is located just East of Pisa. In Italian, it is not called Florence... instead, it is Firenze! We had to get used to saying that.
I was very much looking forward to visiting Florence, thanks to my grade 12 history class, where I learned a lot about the famous Duomo. Plus, my teacher loved the city and always raved about it. I was not disappointed! It was a lovely city, and the views were spectacular. However, the streets were very narrow, and buildings were higher so it felt a little more cramped.
Anyways, we arrived at our hotel in the evening after Pisa. It was nice that we had our own room, because it meant we could unpack a little. It was a pretty cheap hotel though... the walls needed a paint job, the door was fun to lock and unlock, and the shower had no shower curtain... but all in all, it was cheap and in a convenient location, so no complaints here!
On our first morning, we went out in search of Michelangelo's "David" statue. Unfortunately, in order to see the statue you had to pay 11 euros and walk through an art museum first, and we weren't sure about spending all that money. So instead, we saved our money to pay to climb the Duomo!
Alforno di Cambio was given the task in 1296 of designing a cathedral that would be impossible to top. He succeeded, though he designed the dome without sufficient technology to actually build it, confident that by the time it came to the dome, technology would have progressed. Luckily for him, the double-shelled, interlocking brick design that allowed the dome to be built was created by Filippa Brunelleschi.
The whole cathedral was just gorgeous! There was so much detail to every panel of the outside. But the best part was probably climbing to the top of the Duomo. Despite there being 463 stairs to climb, there was an excellent reward at the top...
|My right hand has a death grip on the rail...|
Afterwards, we wandered around the downtown for a bit, and saw the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence, built in 1345. It was beautiful, and had jewellery stores lining it. A little out of our price range, but fun to look at.
|Here's the bridge!|
|A very steep street.|
|Us, on our adventure!|
|We took a break in an olive grove!|
Once we realized that we were in the wrong spot, we turned around to find our way back. We eventually made it, after far too many stairs, and once again it was worth the climb. We got an amazing view of the city, complete with the Duomo:
|There she is!|
|Up close. We climbed it!!|
Florence was a beautiful city, and I would love to go back someday to see all of the art museums that we missed. It truly in a Renaissance City, and I hope that you all get to see it someday!