Europe 2012: Day 7–Touring Florence

You might remember me mentioning that when we traveled from Paris to the Palace of Versailles during our vacation, that the crowds were crazy!

Well, when we were in Florence, we went to visit another palace – this time the Palazzo Pitti. In the 15th century, this was a palace for the royal Medici family, and today houses a collection of art and museums.

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The experience at Palazzo Pitti was so very different from our experience at the Palace of Versailles in France! At the Palazzo Pitti, arriving just after opening, we nearly had the place to ourselves, which was awesome!

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We toured the royal family’s apartments and enjoyed the wealth of artwork and ornate décor covering every floor, ceiling, and wall.P1090430P1090431

We also toured the Costume Museum exhibit, but I didn’t snap any pictures. After a couple hours in the palace, we walked behind the building to the Boboli Gardens. Just like when we visited the Gardens at Versailles in France, we again had drizzle the day we visited a palace and gardens in Italy! Luckily, the rain was very light and intermittent, and did not really bother us this time.

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The gardens are built on a hill. This picture is taken about halfway up, looking back at the palace.

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The Boboli Gardens are in formal, sixteenth-century Italian-style.P1090437

At the top of the gardens, there is a terrace offering panoramic views of Florence. Pretty neat, right?P1090438

Beautiful sculptures adorn the gardens. We loved visiting the gardens! They are a quiet, peaceful refuge from the city.

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After spending a few hours at the palace and in the gardens, we walked back to the other side of the Arno River. We must have had lunch, but I cannot find any pictures on my camera for this meal, and am pretty stumped! Hmm!

Well, after I suppose we had lunch, we walked over to the train station, to make sure we knew how to find it, since we knew we would have to be there early the next morning for our day trip.

While we were in the area, we visited the Santa Maria Novella church, where we toured the cloister, convent, and a beautiful chapel adorned with 14th century frescoes.

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Inside the convent’s former chapel house, known as the Spanish Chapel:P1090444

Cloister:

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Tombs:

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After visiting Santa Maria Novella, we walked back to the heart of Florence, to the Piazza della Signoria, where we visited the Palazzo Vecchio. As a child, one of  my favorite dress-up games was acting as though I were a princess, which involved wearing my silky pink dress, dress-up heels, sparkly tiara, and requiring my unfortunate next door neighbor friend be the princess’s personal maid. Well, I am pretty sure that when I was pretending to be “princess,” I was imagining myself in a castle much like the Palazzo Vecchio!:

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What was a palace in the 13th century is now Florence’s city hall. Not too shabby!

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After a day spent covering lots of ground, we really were in the mood to kick back for a bit! We hit up the grocery store around the corner from our hotel and picked up a few choice items, including a box of red wine (seriously got one liter of wine for less than $4), olives, and salami!

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We put our dogs up in our hotel room for a while, sipped on wine (barely made a dent in the huge box!), and snacked on salty snacks while watching our favorite local TV channel (apparently it’s a British channel, though), called Vintage TV, which features a constantly repeating playlist of about 50 music video clips, mostly from the 1980s and 1990s. Lots of good songs! Please note that the musician on the TV screen looks much like the huz!

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After sufficient rest, we fancied ourselves up for dinner at a nearby restaurant. Caprese salad for the huz:

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A salad for me, to start. Way too much arugula though – bleh!

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We each had a calzone for dinner – they were just okay!

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Good wine and good company (the huz!) spruced up the experience, however.

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The front of the restaurant at which we ate – don’t recall the name!

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Then we had gelato, of course! Did you expect any less!?

This time we tried out gelato at the shop literally right next door to our hotel. It was excellent, as was all the gelato we had in Florence.P1090462

We didn’t stay out too late because we had a big day trip planned the next day, which I’ll be back to tell you about soon!

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2 thoughts on “Europe 2012: Day 7–Touring Florence

  1. Pingback: Europe 2012: Day 11–First Full Day in Rome « Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom.

  2. Pingback: Europe Trip 2012–Two Week Summary « Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom.

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