The Golden Doors to
the relics of the cross
Our trip to Florence was quite quick and I am still impressed by how close the major cities are within Europe.  After checking into our hotel we ventured out to do a little exploring of the shops and markets around Florence before enjoying a traditional Italian dinner at a restaurant, apparently quite popular with the locals rather than tourists.
Replica Statue of David
One of the things about Italian food other than it being very good is that the Italians like to eat a lot of it, so it is not considered uncommon to order two or three reasonable sized dishes in a meal; in fact it is quite the opposite.  So after enjoying a good dinner and some nice Italian wine we ventured out to get some famous gelato that is said to be quite good in Florence!  So much so that one travel guide I read pre-trip suggests consuming at least 2 scoops every day you are in Italy.
Florence’s famous bridge
The next morning we had a lazy start but then picked up our pace as we headed to the Academia Museum where the original statue of David can be found.  Unfortunately we weren’t prepared to wait the 2 hours in the line to get inside so we opted to find one of the many replicas placed around the city instead.  We walked through the Plaza of San Marco, Plaza of San Giovanni and the Plaza of the Republic, taking in the scenery and grand architecture.  We observed several statues of great Italian thinkers including Galileo and artist Michelangelo.  We saw the golden doors that a young Michelangelo once described as “so beautiful they must surely be the doors to paradise”.
Church in Duomo
We continued on to the Plaza di Michelangelo which provided us with a great view of the city of Florence plus a bit of exercise hiking up the hill.  We were able to take some good photos and enjoy the landscape of this beautiful Italian city.
We found some classical Italian pizza for lunch and then headed for the Basilca of Croce which is the resting place of many famous Italians, including Michelangelo, Galileo and Michavelli.  Inside the church were some magnificent paintings, artworks and sculptures however unfortunately a large part of the church was being restored which inhibited our ability to get a complete set of photos.
On the way back towards our hotel we were able to explore a great markets that sold primarily leather products, belts, bags, wallets, jackets, the lot.  There were several stores and it is certainly an experience to walk through and have all of the different vendors approaching and trying to sell us something.
That night we ventured to another Italian restaurant and enjoyed a pleasant Italian meal and the wine was served in a jug (tasted as good as it looked).  Having already enjoyed some Gelato earlier in the day we resisted the urge to try a second as we packed our things and prepared to go to Rome the next day.

Highlights:

The Gelato here was fantastic, really good quality so we were able to enjoy that (probably a little too much).

Florence is a smaller city which gave us a chance to do a bit more relaxing, which was nice.

 

 

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