florence, italy

I’ll be working as a counselor at a summer camp for six weeks where I will be (mostly) tech-free, so as to not go on hiatus, I’m doing a series about my travels in Europe last summer. Each week will feature a different city I visited during my two weeks in Italy and Greece.

Our first stop was Florence, Italy. I loved this city. It’s so full of history and beauty, and you can walk its entirety. Narrow cobblestone streets maze through, leading to plazas with huge cathedrals, leather markets, and gelato shops. The Duomo centers the city, towering over the streets with the most intricate detail. You could spend hours looking at the exterior and continue to find more to see. It’s the original site of Michelangelo’s David, which was actually carved with the perspective viewers would have looking up at the statue outside of the dome (where the scaffolding is in second photo), which is why David‘s hands look larger than would be anatomically correct. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the real David, though the museum was only a few minutes from our hostel, because we ran out of time in our three day visit. The imitations are still incredible, but I hope to go back one day and see the real thing. Another thing I missed out on this trip was going to the Uffizi, which houses art from all the Renaissance greats. Again, I hope to go back soon to see what I missed.

What I did get to see, however, was Dante’s home, the Santa Croce church, and Ponte Vecchio, the bridge with brightly colored jewelry shops hanging over the water. Painters were lined up on the street along the water, capturing the colors on canvas. I hit every gelato shop recommended, by tour guides and Google (which means I had way too much gelato) and one of my favorites was Vivoli, where I got a scoop of dark chocolate. My cousin and I went on a mini scavenger hunt for street art by the famous “Blub” who paints figures like Shakespeare with scuba goggles (eighth picture). Florence is truly an artist’s paradise, with the architecture, sculptures, paintings, and street art scattered everywhere in the city.

One of our nights in Florence, we went up to a vineyard in Tuscany for a wine-tasting and home-cooked Italian meal. We were served bottomless wine and pasta, all with a spectacular view of the hills. On the way back, we stopped at the Piazzale Michelangelo for the sunset over the city.

I hope to return to this beautiful place someday for more.

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