Final Florence Day!

Final Florence Day!

Today was quite an adventure-filled day! (Also, the sun came out for the first time, which felt incredibly nice after long days of rain.)


We started out enjoying the leather markets of Florence, which were vast and filled with tons of amazing items. I ended up getting a wallet and a belt, and even managed to get the belt customized to my waist. Another great find? I met an artist who did engravings of the city and picked out a beautiful print similar to the one in the picture set below. He matted and signed the print and even packaged it nicely for me.


After the market, we took a bus to the Piazza Michelangelo. It was absolutely breathtaking to see the amazing view. (Dad, you were right. It was one of the best things I've ever seen.) We took tons of photos, admired the view, and relished the sunshine.


Post-Piazza, we ventured back to the train station and caught our train to Rome. After a good amount of walking, we finally reached the hotel. We checked in, ate a small dinner at a nearby restaurant, and have crashed back at home. We will see tons of Rome tomorrow!


Enjoy the pictures below!


The Market


The engraving


By the Market


By the market


Piazza Michelangelo

View From the Piazza Michelangelo

Group shot!


The Classic Eric Self-Shot


Another View From the Piazza Michelangelo

Another View From the Piazza Michelangelo



Another View From the Piazza Michelangelo


Florentine Days!

Florentine Days!

Today was another day of fun, slightly rainy still, but so much fun!


We adventured all around Florence, eating good food and seeing amazing art, including Michelangelo's David in the Academia and Donatello's David in the city squares. Another great find was the Medici palace. It was a fantastic lens into the past, and we recognized many of the artworks inside from our art history course on 14th Century Art From Florence to Flanders. Professor Nuttall, if you are reading this, be proud; we felt so knowledgable thanks to your course! We also saw the Duomo and tons of other fantastic buildings!


Tomorrow is another awesome day, with a visit to the Plaza Michelangelo (per the recommendation of the best dad ever, Bomi Mistry) and some leather markets in Florence. Also, as always, good food and plenty of photography.


In the evening, we will head to Rome! Stay tuned!


As usual, some pictures below…




Medici Palace Courtyard


I blend in…

Fantastic artwork in the Medici Palace

Amazing Room in the Medici Palace

Yet another amazing room in the Medici Palace


Madonna Di Filippo Lippi (Master to Botticelli)


Another courtyardin the Medici Palace


Another View

Lunch stop- takeaway pasta or pizza for €5!


Lunch: Tortellini con Prosciutto



Donatello's David

Michelangelo's David (the original in the Academia, not the copy in the square.)




Guardian Lion

River near sunset


Coffee break… (Note the subtle touch with the artistic leaf in the cream. Very nice.)


Dinner: Pizza and salad.


Italy- the Ad-Ven(ice)-Tures of our first day.

Italy- the Ad-Ven(ice)-Tures of our first day.

It has been a pretty crazy day.

We left the flat at two in the morning, hopped on a bus to Liverpool Street, hopped on another bus to Stansted Airport, made it through security and massive lines, and got on the flight.


A few hours later, we landed and walked off the plane into Venice. A short bus ride took us to a station near our hotel and we trekked over to the hotel. We checked in, and the owner gave us a ton of information on how to get into the main, most interesting parts of Venice. After checking in, we took a much needed nap.


Post-nap, we set out on our adventures in Venice. It was a drizzly day that devolved into a downpour, which was a bit of a letdown weather wise, but we had a great time anyway. We had some authentic (and amazing) Italian espresso, freshly brewed and with a bit of decadent frothed cream.

My Magnificent Caffè Macchiato

We continued to walks around, exploring Venice. We found countless amazing pieces of glasswork from Murano and other small amazing things. We scurried from shop to shop, flitting between the awnings as the rain poured down.


Eventually, we found a really reasonable and tasty restaurant to eat a late lunch/early dinner. I ordered some Gnocchi alla Bolognese and we also shared some pizza. Both were absolutely heavenly. The pizza was delicate, with thin crust, a subtle tomato sauce, and a crispy-but-not-burnt crust. The gnocchi were so freshly made and were complemented by the small amount of meat in the sauce. One thing that really struck us was the portion sizes and the style of cooking. The portions were just big enough and the flavoring was just enough to add a subtle note to each dish. Truly great cooking involves taking the simplest ingredients and letting them shine. I love the Italian style of cooking for its focus on this simplicity and on the love of food inherent in the culture.




Nom-Nom Gnocchi


Post- dinner, we were all hit by a sweet tooth craving and elected to find a gelato stand. Luckily, the Italians love their gelato and this stand looked pretty awesome. We tried a few flavors, I finally opted to get a small with chocolate chip as one flavor and tiramisu as the other. It was amazing.

Gelato Generates Good Feelings


After gelato, we continued to shop, it continued to rain, but we decided to enjoy it! We walked through the streets, and saw all sorts of amazing people along the way. Everything went off without a hitch. The adventure continues tomorrow. Half in Venice, and then moving onto Florence.

Stay tuned, and enjoy some pictures.




My Fellow Travelers: (L->R) Tracey, Caitlin, Kate