Italy Trip: Florence

9:49 PM

And after a nice little break, here is part 2 of our Italy trip. I don't think people realize just how exhausting travelling with a toddler is.... unless you travelled internationally with your toddler while you or your spouse was pregnant. I feel like I'm just finally caught up. I went on a guided tour of Europe with my grandparents when I was in highschool. Florence was one of my favorite places we went. So I was very excited to go again. Of course, it was guided and we only spent a day or 2 there, but I might have over-hyped it a bit to JR..... and myself. Yes, florence is beautiful.... and it's much more laid back than Rome.....and there are no hills. We had a very relaxed 3 days in florence. I really think you could do it in 2 days but it was nice to slow down a little bit. So here are some pics from our time there. 

The golden Doors from the Baptistry in Florence. Of course, they aren't the actual doors. They were replaced with replicas so that the originals could be kept safe. This seemed to be a recurring theme when we were in Florence. 

Our hotel was right down the street from the Duomo. All the majors churches in florence follow the same sort of style.....much different than a traditional church. They are all done in a colored marble. 

This is inside the baptistry. You do have to pay extra to get in. JR thought it wasnt worth it, but the ceiling really is beautiful. I think JR was in a bit of Church overload and things started to look a bit mundane... but there's nothing mundane about this ceiling.

Milo is in a phase now where she doesn't like her photo taken, but JR has taught her to pose like this and it's one of the only ways we can get her to take a picture. 

The streets were smooth in florence.... and as I mentioned there weren't many hills. This was a welcome change. For once, Milo wasnt getting whip lash in the stroller and our feet were thanking us for the rest. The smooth streets were also conducive to these sidewalk chalk artists. They were doing an amazing job....and making some bank. I walked by one of their boxes and there were at least 50 one euro coins that had been donated. So, If you think you have mad chalk drawing skills, you might want to consider a career change. 

Pinocchio originated in florence (I had no Idea). We wanted to get Milo a cute keepsake, but every store we came across seemed to have cheap souvenirs. But we did get this cute picture. 

Here is the fountain of Neptune.... Evidently they have had many vandal attempts on the statue and therefore you can't really get up close to it. An interesting fact is that this fountain was used for laundry in the 1600s. 

I very much liked the other statues in the Piazza Della Signoria.... which from what I understand are replicas. But they were beautiful nonetheless. The lion above and the 3 figures below were my favorites.... but all the statues there were amazing. You really felt that they were telling a story. 

I mean, Who wouldn't want to be this woman? I have no idea what's happening in this but I love it. 

Then we went to the Ponte Vecchio... Its a cute little bridge that has shops all along both sides..... Really fancy shmancy jewelry shops. I don't know how they stay open. I'm sure the rent is astronomical.... but then again, visitors with a little extra money to spend may want to buy their lady love a token from their trip. I'm sure you all love this fascinating commentary. I do it for you, really, I do. 

And of course, Milo decided she needed a pic with dad too.

Mine and Milo's favorite part of the day was the time we got gelato. No wonder I somehow managed to gain 2lbs on this trip even though we walked our booties off... but that gelato was good. We are conservative and always got stracciatella or strawberry. Those really are the best flavors anyways. Why waste the calories on something not as good.

Just another shot of the Duomo.

We also went to the Galileo Museum.... which was great. I made JR take a picture of this cool spiral water pump.... for my future homestead of course. lol

Then we went to the Pitti Palace.... well not to the pitti palace, but the gardens.

Check out these faces in the water fountain. not sure if its cool or freaky. 

We walked all through this "botanical gardens."  I say it in quotes because it didn't really seem like anything special. *gasp* It wasn't nearly as nice as the English gardens that I've become accustomed to. 

We walked up and down all sorts of hills looking for this area that supposedly has an amazing view of the city. 

You see these hills. I'm not lazy. I'm not. Ok maybe I am, but ever since I got pregnant, hills are the bane of my existence. As soon as a road even starts to barely incline, It feels like I am pulling a wagon up the hill. 

So we got to the top and found a pretty garden but no look-out. 

Searched around some more and found this lookout.... but it wasn't a view of the main area.... We finally asked a guard that directed us to a different section of the park. You had to exit and then go into a different area. We were already at the top of the hill, so we figured it couldn't be far. And it wasn't....we just took a wrong turn that took us down the hill and far away from where we wanted to be. I wish I could tell you we had stamina and went back up the big hill to take these amazing pictures... but that would be a lie....

What we did was find some lunch and came upon this great little Pizza place called pizza focacce. It was the best pizza we had our entire trip....and it cost us about 6 euros for JR and I to eat lunch. Can't beat it. 

Milo loved all the birds. Anytime she got fussy, we would push her around chasing birds in the stroller. But her favorite thing was feeding them. She didn't really understand that you throw the food on the ground. She thought it made more sense to throw the bread directly at the birds. 

Piazza della Signoria

A view of the river.

Milo was a snuggle bug this trip... Wanting to be cuddled and held. 

On our last night we FINALLY talked Milo into getting on the carousel. Every night she would sit there and watch it but she was too scared to get on.... it was an unfortunate experience with aunt Kasey when she came to visit.... but I think Milo may have been won over. She was definitely nervous and clung to me like a spider monkey, but eventually got excited about it. 

And there you have it. Our time in florence. We did see a few other churches and we saw the statue of David.... Which were all great. More to come from the rest of our trip. Hopefully it won't take me as long to post the next set. 

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