Falling in love with Florence!

In July 2006 I had the opportunity to go to Italy with my Mom, three sisters and one brother.  It was a two week adventure with Florence for the first three days, ‘Cooking School’ in the Umbria region the middle seven days and then ending up in Rome for the final four days.

We arrived in Rome from Atlanta, Georgia where the family had gathered from six different states.  The first challenge … the Train Trip from Rome to Florence … made more complicated because of a taxi strike.  We managed to hire private transport from the airport to the railroad station and then boarded the train.  Off to Florence ……..

Florence Train Station

Florence Train Station


Once in Florence, we got a van to take us from the Train Station to our hotel, the Framon Anglo American Hotel on Via Garibaldi.  It is a 4 star hotel that dates to 1792 that is located in a very peaceful and serene neighborhood in an area between the Borgognissanti district and the Vespucci Arno Enbankment.  It was within walking distance to all of the sites we wanted to see, several very good local restaurants and was very comfortable.   As you can tell from the name (the Anglo American Hotel), it definitely catered to English speaking clientele which was a really nice perk on our first couple days in a foreign country.

Florence, Italy

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, The Duomo


After a good nights sleep we headed to the Galleria della Accademia, the home of the famous Statue of David by Michelangelo.  The Gallery was filled with awe inspiring pieces from the Masters of the Renaissance.  Surprisingly, thinking I wouldn’t be impressed by the Statue of David, I was very impressed.  The statue itself was much bigger then I ever imagined and loomed over the central courtyard where it is housed.  Definitely worth the price of the ticket and the wait in line!

Next we decided to wander around the city a bit.  We headed to the Piazza del Duomo to see the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore commonly known as the Duomo.  The detail in this building is absolutely breathtaking … and we didn’t even go inside.  The doors, the details of the carved marble facade … there was more to see than one could ever really absorb.  We stood in wonder in the piazza and just breathed it all in … and then stopped at a cafe on the opposite side of the square to have a glass of wine and watch all of the other inspired tourists.

Next we wandered through an open air market and enjoyed seeing lots of items made by local artisans – clothes, leather goods, foods … so much to see and enjoy.  To top off the day, we decided to head to the famous Ponte Vecchio.  This is a medieval bridge which spans the Arno River and incorporates shops all along it’s span.  In the olden days, these shops primarily housed butcher shops … but today they are almost all jewelry shops specializing in Italian Gold jewelry and other artistic items.  Definitely worth seeing, but if you’re on a budget, you might want to leave your wallet at the hotel.

After a long day of wandering through the city, my sisters and I had to have a good foot soaking back at the hotel.  This included lots of giggles and helped us to get ready for our travels to the Umbria region of Italy the next day.

A good soak to fix a days worth of walking in the beautiful city of Florence, Italy!

A good soak to fix a days worth of walking in the beautiful city of Florence, Italy!




Categories: Europe

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