How do I even begin? This was a trip of a lifetime for the two of us... one we have been waiting to take for many years. First it was going to be before we had kids, but that didn't happen. Then it was going to be for our 10th anniversary, but we felt our kids were too young to leave behind. So, it was decided; we'd go for our 15th. Going to Italy has been a dream of mine since my first art history class in college. The museums! The cathedrals! The countryside! The food! It's going to take me a long time to come down from this one. Of the places we visited, my husband had only been to Rome... and I had only been to the Zurich airport.
Speaking of the Switzerland, we had an amazing view of the Alps on our flight from Zurich to Milan. We decided to fly in and out of Milan because the flight costs were so much less. We didn't see anything in Milan - just the airport. After renting our zippy little Fiat, we were on our way.
Our first stop was Florence. Wait, it was actually a travel plaza along the highway where I had an *amazing* panini. The NJ Turnpike could learn a few things from these travel plazas. On to Florence...
We checked into our room and discovered we had a lovely balcony!
That looked at this... I'm pinching myself when I am taking this picture!
Time to explore the city...
Palazzo Vecchio - and where the original David once stood (this is a copy)
The Uffizi. One of the greatest museums in the world.
Michelangelo's Holy Family, Leonardo da Vinci's Annunciation, Botticelli's Birth of Venus...
it's all in there. No pictures allowed.
Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi window.
Cappuccino stop after the Uffizi. I'm just plain giddy after all that we saw!
We went to the Accademia to see Michelangelo's David right after the Uffizi tour. INCREDIBLE!
No pictures allowed there either.
Shopping break at Mercato di San Lorenzo. I can still smell the leather.
My husband has a knack for finding stores with really old books. He's like a kid in a gelato shop.
Brunelleschi's Dome. Right there.
Ghiberti's Baptistery Doors (these are copies... the real doors were in a museum around the corner)
We walked all 463 steps of the Dome. Renaissance architecture at it's best.
The views from the top were worth every step.
Look at these bricks. Genius!
More Ponte Vecchio... it was built in 1345, it's a pretty amazing sight.
Walking back to the hotel after dinner.
Good Night, Florence. It was lovely.
Next stop is Siena... after a beautiful drive through Chianti country...