Finishing in Florence

This was our last full day to see what we could see in Florence, and I think we made good use of our time. While I think we may leave the city having just scratched the surface, there’s so much to see that the surface offers plenty.

We spent the morning at the Duomo, exploring everything the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral complex offered.

First, we dropped off Carol at the museum while the rest of us climbed the 463 steps to the top of the dome.

The stunning Last Judgment frescoes on the inside of the dome were as stunning as the view from the outside of the dome.

Italians typically have just a small pastry with espresso for breakfast. Following this practice, we’ve found ourselves quite ravenous by the time lunch hour rolls around, and today was no different. Following another recommendation from The Breen Team (my nephew and his wife, who honeymooned in Italy last September), we found our way to La Divina Pizza.

I’ll just say that this place was aptly named; the pizza—particularly the crust—was simply divine. And it was fun to try the by-the-slice experience where the slice is cut for you with a pair of scissors.

The gelato of the day also came by way of a Breen Team suggestion: from Perché No, a place where they said they found the best gelato in Florence. It was good, but I think yesterday’s award-winning San Gimignano gelato was a touch better.

In the afternoon, we made our way across the Ponte Vecchio to the Oltrarno, the other side of the Arno River.

First stop, the Pitti Palace, home of the Medici family. Or, more specifically, the Boboli Gardens, their sprawling backyard.

Third time’s a charm, so we went with the Breen Team one more time, following their “must do” suggestion to take a bottle of wine to Piazzale Michelangelo to watch the sunset. A rock-solid suggestion.

The idea of enjoying a bottle of wine at sunset conjures feelings of intimacy and relaxation. A thousand other people had the same idea, however, so we didn’t exactly get that. But the views, particularly at this time of day, kept the Breen Team’s perfect record intact.

We felt a trip to Florence wasn’t complete without a dinner of bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine steak), so we treated ourselves to a last supper splurge at Osteria dell’ Enoteca, just up the street from the Pitti Palace (not sure whether the Medici are regulars).

Rather than offering a wine list, the sommelier brought me to the wine case and helped me pick out a bottle.

Tomorrow noon, we head for the Eternal City. Ciao, Firenze!

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