Well, it’s finally happened…. Our first house guest arrived this week!!! My sister-in-law Lizzy came in Monday afternoon. I was so happy that I cried when I saw her… but only for about 30 seconds. I’m so happy to finally have someone from my family around.
****My brother is attending school at Thunderbird in Arizona and was required to take a course overseas. He was assigned to Geneva Switzerland for 2 weeks. So, while he’s been busy with school, Lizzy went to London to see her best friend Amber (who is also there for school). Then they met my brother in Paris for the weekend and back to Geneva. Lizzy came in on Monday and my brother Jose arrived yesterday (friday)****
Tuesday, Lizzy and I hopped on the train to go to Florence! Once we got to the hotel and settled, we ate lunch and went to the Accademia Gallery to see the David.
having lunch before the museum
Lizzy with the Duomo in the background
at the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata
(this reminds me of the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz)
We were really disappointed when we couldn’t take pictures. The statue is huge… about 20 feet high and it is exactly how I imagined. We spent about 20 minutes at the Accademia because there isn’t much to see. We walked to the Piazza del Duomo and decided to sit and eat our gelato at the steps of the Basilica di Santa Maria and do some people watching.
Basilica di Santa Maria
the bell tower
Lizzy enjoying her first taste of Grom
We had planned our trip pretty well but expected to be at the museum at least 2 hours. Since that didn’t happen, we went back to the hotel after sitting at the Piazza forever and went to bed by 10. We really felt like Florence had nothing to offer.
The next morning we woke up to go to the Uffizi Gallery. As we walked past the Piazza del Duomo, that’s when we realized that the all of the fun stuff we wanted to do was just a block away from where we were. We saw tons of shops, restaurants and more people. We were just on the wrong side of the Duomo.
(before) street drawing of Venus
(after) street artist drawing another picture on top of the Venus
Lizzy and one of the copies of the David
this lady was really excited that the street performer kissed her hand
this kid got scared that the performer reached out to to tickle him
The Uffizi was wonderful. We had a great time but again… we couldn’t take pictures of anything. After the museum, we went to the Ponte Vecchio.. which was awesome!
the Ponte Vecchio
the Arno River
window shopping on the Ponte Vecchio
balcony on the Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio was really cool. Lizzy really enjoyed it because the entire bridge (on both sides) had nothing but jewelry….. her favorite! After lunch, we went back to the Piazza del Duomo to take a peek inside the Basilica. While waiting in line, I felt like I needed to remember ALL of the gypsies that were harassing the tourists.
The people are everywhere. They are very sneaky and like to work in groups. If they can…. one will aproach you for money while another one is trying to steal your wallet without you knowing. This is a gypsy fact that I am very aware of, which is why I always have my purse in front of me and my hand on it at all times. One lady kept walking around shaking her cup of coins and saying..”Buona sera cha cha cha” over and over again. They very persistent and scary. A lot of the tourist were scared and you could see it in their faces. Some tried to ignore them but finally gave in. While we were in line at the Uffizi, one gypsy touched me. She scared me, so I turned around and said…”don’t touch me… Go!”… in Italian of course. I think she gave me the gypsy voodoo curse!
inside the Basilica
Once we finished our visit at the Basilica, we walked through the mercato in search of purses, and ties.
enjoying a strawberry slushie
Lizzy enjoying market
We went back to the hotel to rest before going out to dinner. We enjoyed the rest of the evening with good food, gelato and a stroll in the city.
the Martini & Rossi sign
Carousel at night
Our trip was wonderful. I had so much fun with Lizzy and we want to go back! I would definitely recomend to anyone to see Florence… and if you’re not sure.. just watch Rick Steves’ Florence episode like I did to get in the mood!