Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Europe Day 5 - Florence (September 26th)

This morning we woke up to breakfast in our room. The N4U Guesthouse is a bed and breakfast without a main kitchen area, so you are served in your room. I thought it was pretty good. The chocolate chip croissants were my favorite.

N4U Guesthouse

N4U Guesthouse

Here is the lounge in the hotel. If we stayed here longer, it would have been fun to hang out here.

N4U Guesthouse

The plan for the day was to check out more of Florence. Since we were up for breakfast, we decided to get going early to avoid the heat a little. I had seen in the guide book that you can climb to the top of the Duomo, but there is usually a long wait. The other option was to climb to the top of the attached Bell Tower, so we decided to climb the Bell Tower. The Duomo is the on the left, the Bell Tower on the right.

Bell Tower and Duomo

View from Giotto's Bell Tower

There were lots of stopping points on the way up, here is the view from one of the higher lookout areas.

View from Giotto's Bell Tower

And the actual bell in the Bell Tower.

Bell at Bell Tower

The terra cotta roof.

View from Giotto's Bell Tower

The best part was the amazing view of the city. It is crazy to look out and see the terra cotta roofs for miles.

View from Giotto's Bell Tower

An advantage of going up the Bell Tower is you get an amazing view of the Duomo.

09.26.11

Our attempt to get a photo together was unsuccessful, so this collage will have to do.

Sara and Patrick at Top of Bell Tower

After the Bell Tower we decided to walk around and see what else we could find in Florence. We probably would have gone to see Michelangelo's David, but the museum was closed on Monday's so no such luck there.  In one of the plazas we did see a replica of David and some other statutes.

Statues

Here was a fun piece of art we found on our walk.

Sara & Patrick at Zen Man Statue

Streets of Florence

On our walk we happened to end up in area that the hotel suggested for restaurants. We were hungry for lunch, so we stopped at a random place and ended up finding our favorite meal of Italy. Not only was the food awesome, look at this view.

View of Ponte Vecchio at lunch Il Ristoro

The name of the restaurant was Il Ristoro. We both had simple dishes spaghetti and ravioli and they both were awesome and filling without being too much.

Patrick at Il Ristoto

Florence Lunch

Sara at Il Ristoto

Il Ristoro

After our awesome lunch we stopped for gelato and then headed back to the hotel to escape the heat for awhile.

Later that afternoon we decided if we were going to be in a city of art museums for 2 days, we better actually visit a museum. We decided to go to Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. This is a museum for the items that were removed from Santa Maria del Fiore and it also is home to other a ton of design ideas that were not chosen for the church.

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

Museum

Florence is known for its leather products. This is just one of the many purse shops. Just seeing this picture makes me remember the smell of the leather.

Florence Leather Purse Shop

Italian Transportation

After the museum, we walked around Florence some more and finally ended up eating dinner at a place right next to the House of Sizzle (where we watched the Packer game the night before). The bar was called Moyo and it had this awesome buffet that was free with the purchase of a drink. The buffet had a couple kinds of pasta salad, meatballs with red sauce and black beans, french fries, regular salad, a couscous salad, a chickpea salad and bread. It was awesome. We both love this kind of stuff, so it was perfect dinner for us.

We made it an early night. We got back to the hotel and did some planning to figure out how we were getting to Venice the next morning. Our step count for the day was 19,601 or 9.8 miles.

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