Italy Vacation: Florence

After our time in Positano, my mom and I took a train to Florence. We had both visited Florence before- I had gone my sophomore year in college during my study abroad course in Italy, and she had gone three years ago when she visited Italy with my dad. However, the sights are always stunning, and we were excited to revisit the city! Since we had both already been and had seen the major museums and statues, we focused more on the things we missed the last time we visited. I never had the chance to climb to the top of the bell tower or see the inside of the Duomo, so those were our two big touristy stops to check off our list. And, they also explain why I have about 20 different views of the Duomo that I am about to show you!

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What is so amazing about the Duomo, time after time, is how grande it is. You are simply walking along the side streets of Florence and look up after turning a corner, and there it is- a massive, beautifully designed church. So, you can imagine how amazing the view is as I climbed up the different levels of the bell tower.

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These pictures were taken at the midway point of the bell tower where we were almost eye level with the dome of the Duomo. Looking at the incredible detail of this structure makes me so awestruck of how talented the architects were who built the Duomo.

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The second to last picture is my all-time favorite. I love that you can see the ring of people around the top of the Duomo to put into perspective just how large the structure is. One of the stones seems to be a third the size of a person! That is unbelievable. It was also simply an amazing view of all of Florence. Of the terra cotta roofs and the various piazzas. I could have stayed up there for hours.

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We then had the chance to go inside the Duomo and light a candle to give an offering. The most spectacular part of the inside of the Duomo is the fresco painting of the Last Judgement done by Giorgio Vasari and Frederico Zuccari in the 1570s. The majority of the inside of the Duomo is very minimalistic, but this ceiling is fantastic. I think I was craning my neck backward for about ten minutes to get just the right picture!

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One of the following days, we decided to walk to various parts of Florence. The first logical place to stop was for some gelato, followed by the Piazza della Signoria that holds a replica of the David.

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We then walked over to the Ponte Vecchio, which is a beautiful bridge that is filled with shops that sell stunning gold and coral jewelry. It is the perfect place to window shop! I loved seeing the people kayaking and picnicking near the Ponte Vecchio. It was so tranquil and reminded me of what my dad would love to have done if he was there with us.

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We continued walking around and stopped outside the Basilica di Santa Croce, which is another fantastic cathedral in Florence. All of Florence was amazing. It was definitely a different trip then when I visited during my study abroad, and I am grateful that I had the chance to see the sights I saw!

This post was mostly focused on the sights we visited, but another important aspect of Florence is it's amazing food. If you ever have the pleasure to visit Florence, you must eat a bistecca florentine and/or the truffle ravioli at Trattoria ZaZa's, the penna alla vodka from Ristorante Pizzeria il Gatto e la Volpe, and any flavor of gelato from the Gelateria dei Neri on Via Dei Neri (my favorite was the pistachio!). Any other trips about places to visit or eat are welcome in a comment!