New Years in Italy (Part 2)

After a fun day in Rome, we made our way to stop number two on the Italy trip: Florence! Right in the middle of wine country, this city was absolutely breathtaking. This whole trip I had to pinch myself several times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. And I wasn’t! I really was in Italy!

View of the Duomo and Basilica in Florence, Italy.

Since Florence is only 40 minutes outside of Bologna, it was a relatively short train ride. We got to the city around 9 am and since we didn’t have much of an itinerary planned out for this day, we just wandered the streets until we found some beautiful buildings! I knew I wanted to see the Duomo and the Basilica, so I followed the large dome until we turned a corner and saw these beautiful structures in front of us.

View of the Basilica in Florence, Italy.

View of the Basilica with Christmas tree in Florence, Italy.

Okay but really, like, how B E A U T I F U L are these buildings?! I think Tyler was getting a little annoyed at how much I kept repeating my love for these places. But how could I not? And look how tall this tower is when you’re standing right next to it!

Upward angled view of the Basilica in Florence, Italy.

When Tyler could finally scrape my jaw off the floor and drag me away, we kept walking down different alleyways just hoping to run into something cool. Honestly, I was hoping to find a kiosk that sold sunglasses. Since the only pair we had, Tyler left at a friend’s house months before. We did manage to find sunglasses eventually, but not before we walked into Piazza Della Signoria and saw the most amazing statues!

Man riding horse statue in Piazza Della Signoria in Florence, Italy.

Neptune fountain in Piazza Della Signoria in Florence, Italy.

Perseus holding Medusa's head statue in Piazza Della Signoria in Florence, Italy.

At this point, it was nearing lunch time and we were all hungry. We found this cute restaurant called Il Cavallino in the same plaza and decided to sit outside so we could have a beautiful view with our food. Side note: Tyler and I have fallen in love with mulled wine (called glühwein in Germany) since moving to Europe, so when we saw it on the menu we immediately order it to drink. It warmed us right up while we waited for our food. I ordered Tortelli Mugellano, which is essentially ravioli smothered in pesto sauce! It was delicious. And Tyler, once again, ordered Spaghetti Carbonara. Where I like to branch out and try new dishes when we’re in another country, my husband likes to stick with what he knows.

Beautiful building in Florence, Italy.

Another place I knew I wanted to go while we were in Florence was Piazzale di Michelangelo where we’d get panoramic views of the entire city. So, after lunch we decided to head straight there. It was a lot of walking through streets and back alleys, and then a very steep climb up what seemed like millions of steps just to get there. But, oh, it was worth it.

Panoramic view of Florence, Italy from atop the Piazzale di Michelangelo.

Tyler and I with the skyline of Florence, Italy behind us.

No trip of ours is complete without a kissy picture. 😉 I loved this view so much. I heard this was the best place to watch the sunset, but unfortunately our train back home was too early so we had to settle for a picture while the sun was still in the sky. But it was still so beautiful.

If you aren’t aware, Florence houses the famous sculpture of David. While we didn’t go to the gallery and see the original masterpiece, we saw this awesome replica that overlooks the city.

Statue of David replica in the Piazzale di Michelangelo in Florence, Italy.

Afterwards, we just tripped around the streets of Florence taking pictures of neat things and exploring this wonderful city.

Like these really cool arches.

Tyler, a friend, and I posing inside arches in Florence, Italy.

And this cute sign outside of a small café.

Cafe sign and bike with watermelon wheels.

We even saw this amazing street artist creating this beautiful piece of art as we walked by.

Street artist painting two cherubs in Florence, Italy.

We even came across Il Porcellino! He is a bronze boar fountain in the middle of Florence. Visitors believe that if you place a coin into his open mouth and let it drop into the grate below, it will bring you good luck. You can also rub his snout to ensure that you will return to Florence.

Il Porcellino, the bronze boar fountain that brings you luck.

Shortly after this picture was taken, we came across the Hard Rock Cafe and decided to pop in for a bit. I know what you’re thinking: you’re in ITALY, why would you go to the Hard Rock Cafe when you can indulge in the culture? Well, because our feet hurt and we wanted to a get a margarita (or five) before braving the cold again.

Carousel in the streets of Florence, Italy.

A couple hours and several drinks later, we began making our way back to the train station so we could head back to the home base. I also really wanted gelato. I mentioned it to Tyler pretty much all day, so when he saw this cute little gelato shop we stopped to get a few scoops!

Inside of cute gelato shop in Florence, italy.

Assortment of gelato flavors in gelato shop.

Mint chocolate chip gelato with chocolate dipped waffle crisp.

It was a perfect ending to our perfect day. So, we rode the train back to our little apartment and rested up for our New Years celebrations in Venice!

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Day two is all about the gorgeous city of Florence