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My two loves

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Yesterday, Alessandro and I planned on taking a day off and spending it together. At first we thought of going somewhere else in Tuscany, but then decided on touring Florence for the day. We made flexible plans for the day, but there were a few things I truly wanted to do that I had never done before in Florence. The weather was rather cooperative even though the temperatures hovered around 4°C (39°F) for most of the day.

We started the morning by grabbing a capuccino and a brioche (croissant) at Caffè Giacosa. Instead of going to the bar off of via Tournabuoni, we went to the other one that they set up in Palazzo Strozzi. After we bundled ourselves up again, we walked toward the Duomo because I had never gone to the top of the cupola (dome), but the line was too long. We walked over to Palazzo Medici Riccardi, but we discovered that it's closed on Wednesdays.

We walked back through the centro (downtown) to Palazzo Pitti. The streets were filled with many tourists, more than I remembered in the weeks past. We have both visited the Giardino di Boboli many times, but never any of the museums inside the Palazzo Pitti. So, we thought it would be fun to start off the year by having new experiences in Florence for us both.

We started our visit of Palazzo Pitti by first walking around the Giardino di Boboli. The man at the ticket booth told us that it would be smart to go there first because it closed earlier than the museums. We walked out of the gates of the giardino and over to Forte Belvedere to look at the spectacular views of Florence. I took many pictures, including the one shown here, and was even able to get an amazing photo of the San Miniato church, which is almost impossible when you're standing in front of it.

Alessandro talked to me about his experiences growing up in Florence and how things had changed over the years. It was interesting to hear about how people used to park cars in front of the Palazzo Pitti and how they used to be able to drive past the steps of the Duomo.

For lunch, we wanted to grab a panino con lampredotto (sandwich made with tripe), but unfortunately the lampredottaio (tripe stand) in Porta Romana was closed. We ended up walking along via Romana and had a quick bite before heading back into the Giardino di Boboli.

We then went inside the palazzo to visit a few of the museums. We started with the Museo degli Argenti because it closed earlier and then went to the Galleria Palatina and Galleria d'Arte Moderna. We were both impressed with how much artwork was on display, but at times it felt a bit overwhelming. I loved visiting the rooms of the palazzo because I find it intriguing to see how the Medici family once lived.

After our full day at Palazzo Pitti, we strolled across the Ponte Vecchio and back to our apartment. We had to take a nap before heading back out for dinner because we were exhausted by our long day out as tourists.

We went to Gustavino for dinner where I had been wanting to try for years, but just never went before. We enjoyed our food as we talked about our wishes for the year to come. It was so pleasant to enjoy my favorite city with my favorite person and I have many photos that I can look at with fond memories.

As we walked back to our apartment in the quiet and dimly lit streets, I honestly felt as if a few of the stars above winked at me.

 
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