The Ponte Vecchio – the only bridge across the Arno that wasn’t destroyed in WWII

This past weekend we headed South to Firenze – Florence – to visit Evan’s parents, Nancy and John, and to have lunch with my cousins, Suzanne and Robert. We began our journey at 6am and despite having our first train be overflowing with comic convention-bound teenagers dressed in costumes and nearly missing our connecting train in Prato, we arrived in Firenze only 20 minutes late (on time according to Italian standards).

We surprisingly had no trouble finding Nancy and John in the busy train station and after walking from one end of the station to the other in search of a bathroom and a luggage check, we found both tucked away in the most unexpected corner. Afterward, we headed to one of Firenze’s most popular destinations – the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore – the Duomo, for short. The 13th-century cathedral is breathtaking from all sides and is covered in green, white, and pink marble.

We then spent the remainder of the morning walking all over the city, hitting other beautiful landmarks along the way (like the Basilica di Santa Croce, the Arno River, and the Ponte Vecchio) and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. After lunch and the obligatory gelato, we explored the Santo Spirito neighborhood and visited the Farmacia Santa Maria Novella, one of the oldest pharmacies in the world that is now a museum and shop.

Firenze is by no means a city in which you can visit it for a single day and feel satisfied. Instead, it’s one of those cities that would easily take years to explore all its history and discover only some of its hidden treasures. As soon as we got out of the train station I immediately fell in love with Firenze and I think the more time I spend there, the more in love with the city I will become. Naturally, this means that I hope to return to the city again to climb the Duomo, visit Boboli Gardens, and see Michelangelo’s David, among many, many other things.

The Duomo
Lots of smells to be smelled at the Farmacia
In front of the Arno River (and very ready for lunch!)

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