Europe Vacation: Florence Day 1

Maybe I'll get through all of these vacation pictures by the end of the year! They have definitely been put on the back burner.

Florence was our favorite. We just loved how the city was smaller and more pedestrian friendly. And although it was lightly snowing on this day, it had not accumulated on the streets.

We stayed at the Hotel Brunelleschi, and we had a great view of the duomo.

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First stop... climbing to the top of the duomo's dome. 463 steps.
We were SO glad to be there in the off-season when there are fewer people there. I think I would have felt extremely claustrophobic if that tiny stairway had been filled with people going both directions. As it was, we pretty much had the staircase to ourselves. Nick was sweet and took over camera backpack duty while I huffed and puffed my way up. :) The picture on the bottom right of this board shows the last stretch up... and it looked almost like a straight slope. You couldn't even see the steps for how steep they were.

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We made it!! It was FREEZING cold up there. I already mentioned that it was lightly snowing, and the wind that high up was pretty fierce. The views made up for it though! I was disappointed that the skies were so cloudy, but just before we left, the sun started shining through.

Bottom-left you see Nick going back down the steps, and on the right is the view of the dome ceiling (with the plexi-glass in the way of the shot).

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After our hike, we walked around the marketplace, then went to the Accademia to see the statue of David. We marveled at yet another of Michelangelo's masterpieces and wondered if he ever slept! No photography was allowed there.

Dinner at Trattoria Sostanza was our favorite of the trip, I think. This was another recommendation from my friend, Melissa, who sent us there with notes on what to order! Butter chicken for me, Florentine steak (of course!) for Nick.

I asked if they minded if I take pictures. They said no, they didn't mind, then invited me INTO the kitchen to shoot in there. Please stop and look at those steaks. They pulled that rack of meat out and hacked the steak off right when ordered.

If you're ever in Florence, please go here.

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Then we walked back. And no freezing Italian night is complete without gelato!

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It may be another month before you get to see day 2 of Florence/Tuscany, but it'll be worth it! (I think... I haven't really looked through all those pictures yet!!)

Bringing you up to speed: Europe by Instagram, Europe by HolgaParis Day 1Paris Day 2Rome Day 1, Rome Day 2