View from the Top

After choosing relaxation over touring the day before, my friends and I were determined to fill our day with sightseeing on Saturday, January 28. Since we weren’t traveling this weekend we wanted to make the most of our weekends spent in Florence. To begin our day, we met early, and headed out to climb the Duomo!

At first, I was a little apprehensive about this excursion due to my slight claustrophobia and fear of heights, but the view from the top made it all worth while. To get to the cupola, we climbed 463 spiral stone steps and made our way through dark narrow passageways. Luckily it was not as tight quarters as I had dreadfully imagined and I made my way up without a problem.

When we reached the top, we were greeted with a panoramic view of the entire city of Florence on a perfectly sunny day. It was amazing. We could see in all directions picking out our school, where we live, and other great monuments of the city. We spent a good amount of time enjoying the view before embarking on the journey back down the steps.

Next stop on the agenda was the Ponte Vecchio, which was a short walk from the Duomo. I think this is one of my favorite sites, the river and the bridge so beautiful and iconic of Florence. We sat down on the stone wall lining the river and once again enjoyed our view. There were rowers on the river, and many people walking by the bridge. It was nice to step back and people watch for a bit before heading across the Ponte Vecchio.


On the other side of the bridge we came along a street lined with many shops. At this point in the afternoon we were all on the hunt for a cappuccino and a pastry! But first, we came across the Pitti Palace.

By this time our feet were tired and our stomachs were hungry so we ducked into the first pastry shop that looked appealing. I decided it was time for me to have a croissant as they are so popular in Italy. I picked out a croissant with blackberry filling.

After our little afternoon pick-me-up, we walked home, rested for a bit, and headed back out for our first restaurant dinner together. After reading about it in a tour book, and hearing good reviews from friends, we decided on a restaurant called Za-Za, located near San Lorenzo’s market. The restaurant was very cute with stone walls and mix-matched furniture, and the menu looked good. I jumped at the chance to enjoy some classic Tuscan cuisine and ordered the sampler of three Tuscan soups: ribollita, pasta e fagioli, and a barley soup. All entrees I had read about in books and have been dying to try!

Although the presentation was not appealing, the soup was good. All three were thick and more like stew than soup, but good even so. My friends and I stayed at the restaurant for hours after our meals were finished, talking and enjoying each other’s company. We ended the day tired after walking nearly ten miles across the city, but happy none the less as we were filled with good food and laughter.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Ellen! The Uffizi, the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace and all the wonderful views and foods and experiences. Please tell me you have seen Michaelangelo's David. It captivated me and I took a million pictures from all different angles. His face changes as you move around him and look up. Brava! Brava!
    Ciao, bella! :-)