After another 6 a.m. wake up call, so began another busy day in Italy!
We quickly dined on breakfast at the hotel before joining our group on a coach bus bound for Florence. We had hopes of catching some more sleep on the bus and busted out our blow-up neck pillows to help us get comfortable, but we were too excited to fall asleep.
That’s my “I’m frustrated that I can’t sleep” face. It also doubles as my “I smell a terrible fart” face.
On our drive, our bus took one pit stop so everyone could stretch their legs and use the restrooms. While at the stop, my family and I had a great time looking at all the neat items for sale including ginormous KitKat bars and massive containers of Nutella.
That jar was as big as my head!
My sister and I then looked for our names on the Italian name plates, but came up a bit short.
We also got a kick out of the Italian version of American movies being sold.
One movie that went unchanged?
FernGully! Well, the subtext changed, but the main title remained the same. Also, I think you all should know that Ryan secretly loves this movie… and that makes me love him even more.
After our pit stop, snacks of Nutella and crispy, thin breadsticks were enjoyed on the bus before we were dropped off in the heart of Florence where we took some time to explore.
We made our way through Piazza Santa Croce to Piazza della Signoria where we enjoyed looking at all of the sculptures and soaked in the scene before meeting up with a tour guide to learn more about Florence and see Michelangelo’s David at the Academy of Fine Arts.
Unfortunately no pictures were allowed, so the David went unphotographed, but I was really impressed. I didn’t expect the statue to be so big! It is about 13 feet tall and made of solid marble.
Here’s a photograph of the replica of the David found in Piazza della Signoria.
I found it interesting to learn that Michelangelo carved his sculptures by beginning with the part of the body that reached out the farthest. He didn’t carve from top to bottom as you might assume, which was fascinating to me. I can’t even imagine carving anything to begin with, but if I did, I’d never start with a knee or an elbow that was jutting out. He really was a mastermind.
Our tour continued all around Florence and passed by Piazza del Duomo where we saw the massive Santa Maria del Fiore church, the fourth largest church in Europe.
We toured the city for a bit longer with our guide before heading off on our own to shop and walk around.
Our number one priority? Find gelato!
I had notes from the suggestions you guys left me in the comments section of my first Europe post that lead us to Perche no!
All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. By far the best gelato I’ve ever had in my life.
My entire family raved about their respective gelato choices. I opted for a combination of the chocolate mousse and mascarpone gelato flavors and mmm-ed out loud after nearly every bite. My mom’s tiramisu gelato was also unbelievable. If you’re ever in Florence you must go here!
Once the late afternoon turned into the early evening, we met back up with our tour group to check into our hotel and eat dinner.
We ate dinner at the hotel which was really good, but not exactly what I was hoping to do in Florence.
Though being part of a tour group is wonderful in many aspects (you get to see so much and the transportation is a breeze), it’s also a bit frustrating at times because you’re at the mercy of your scheduled transportation and the group’s itinerary. When group dinners are scheduled, it’s hard to veer off on your own without having to take an expensive taxi ride to and from the hotel.
Since the price of dinner at many of our destinations is included with our tour, we’re trying to enjoy the planned meals as best we can, even though my sister and I were really hoping to eat food from hole-in-the-wall local favorite-type places. Fortunately tomorrow night is the last group dinner night we have on the itinerary and then we’re free to find all the delicious meals we can in Europe!
All in all today was another fantastic day in Europe!
Tomorrow we’re traveling to Venice for our last day in Italy. The Pope will actually be there tomorrow, too! Time to get to sleep so I can be chipper in the mornin’.
I hope you guys are having a fantastic weekend!
P.S. The Fashion page was updated today!