Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Five cities down, three to go! I'm continually amazed by how fast the time seems to fly. In each city it feels as though we're there for days yet when I realize only a week ago we were on a long walking tour in Venice I'm pretty shocked.
Florence was a city I'd been looking forward to a lot, but it completely surpassed my expectations. This was the Italy I'd been waiting for. There was a wonderful mix of history, culture, and modern urban life. We were only there for three days, and I feel like I could live there forever and probably still discover new and exciting things about it everyday.
My roommate, Erin, and I, at the top of the Boboli Gardens

We had two full, nonstop days followed by a full day where we were free to do whatever we wanted, so I really felt like I was able to explore different parts and areas of the city. Like other cities, we started the trip with a walking tour. We explored the Duomo, the de Medici Palace, Michelangelo's David, and the Uffizi Galleries. Soaking in the rich history of this city was one of my favorite parts about seeing it. I'm continually surprised how much I'm enjoying the museum visits. Prior to this trip, the last thing I would've wanted to do when visiting a city is go see art museums, but having the guidance and information to understand what I'm seeing has given me such an appreciation for the works of art here in Europe.
The Duomo

Seeing Michelangelo's David was truly awe-inspiring. It's huge! In fact, size seemed to be a running trend in Florence, because the Duomo is also massive. It literally towers over the rest of the city and to see it up close is amazing.
Unfortunately, Friday we had midterms so everyone cooped up Thursday night to study for them. I'm crossing my fingers for good results - I'm more confident in the music exam than the art one, but we'll see.

Friday after exams we visited the Palazzo Pitti, the former residence of the de Medici family. In addition to art galleries, they also have restored the apartments to their original state. It's fascinating to see the luxury and ornate style of the decor.
The Palazzo Pitti, as seen from the Boboli Gardens

Also at the Palazzo Pitti are the Boboli Gardens. They're long and narrow and wind up a (very steep) hill, but the view from the top was more than worth the trek. Crazy, incredibly views of Florence and the Tuscan countryside.

After our exams, everyone was ready for a big night out (and thankfully our day off on Saturday afforded us the opportunity). Most of the group made (another) hike up to Piazzale Michelangelo, a large lookout spot with gorgeous views of the city. We drank wine, enjoyed live music, and watched the sunset. I really never wanted to leave.
But leave we did. After a relaxing and rejuvenating free day (sleeping, shopping, lots of walking), we left this morning for Rome. We have three busy days here and I can't wait. I'm going to see it all! [Update: now the second day in Rome and it's amazing here! More details to come!]


  1. i will definitely be visiting florence for the art-have seen a replica of david at the V&A in London-his proportions are interesting and was created to be displayed above the viewer and i think he spent quite a bit of his early days in a piazza. looks live you've had spectacular weather. hope you continue to enjoy your travels-look forward to more.

  2. great update - more wonderful photos...especially good to see some friendly faces! and so glad you love florence. can't wait to see it in 2014!!