Today is our first and only full day in Firenze. There is no way you can see or appreciate this Renaissance masterpiece in one day. But the idea is to get a macro feel and view and come back again and explore in more detail. With just two weeks in Italy there is not enough time to get into the micro as you would never grasp enough of what this fabulous country has to offer.
So to start the day in the spirit of the macro view I love to get up early and do my morning walk. So much of how you experience any town or city filled with tourists is with every space filled with tourists. But to get up early with not a soul in sight and have the ability to experience the architecture on your own, in quiet solitude is truly an experience I don’t think many people every make the effort to embrace. It’s the best and fortunately I had a nice group of my travelers who made it. We met in the hotel lobby at 6:30 am and we were off. I love it.
I took my travelers on a little different route from previous walks and in an hour an half we had made a good dent in our exercise goals for the day and it was only 8am.
Grab a nice breakfast at the Hotel Brunellschi http://www.hotelbrunelleschi.it and then it was off to climb the Duomo campanelli with Isabel. 414 steps straight up but worth it for the view and exercise. I love the view from up here as you truly get a macro perspective. It is really amazing how much is packed into a few square miles here. Yet it is endless and every time I come – this is probably my 15th time here – I never quite see it the same and I discover something new each time. Hence why I keep returning.
Isabel and I then grabbed a quick lunch and then it was back to the hotel for a power nap to get ready for the second half of the day.
This year Isabel and I did a photo shoot with a photographer and stylist. So while Isabel got ready I went and did a little shopping and exploring. With Isabel set and ready we went to the Café Florian http://www.caffeflorian.com/en/florence for our shoot. This little restaurant and bar is so artsy and cool. Definitely make it a point to check it out. From there we shot some photos at the bridge on the Arno with the Pointe Vecchio in the background all while in a driving rainstorm with broken sunlight streaming through. I’m excited to see these pics! As we made it back to the hotel we stopped at the Michaelangelo Palazzo Strozz http://www.palazzostrozzi.org/?lang=en for some final shots. What a fun way to spend an afternoon and it will be so nice to have some professional photos of the two of us in one of our favorite places on earth!
Then it was time for dinner. My group all descended at the hotel bar for a quick cocktail and then we were off for dinner on the street at the Buca San Giovanni located right in front of the Duomo. It was a bit rainy and chilly so we had cocktails – aperol spritzs accompanied by roses from one of the vendors – on the street and then went down into the cellar for a fabulous dinner. Great food and top notch service. The bisteca florentina is fabulous.
From dinner it was off for a little gelato and then a few of us made it to the Westin Grand Hotel for after dinner drinks. What a wonderful full day in Florence. Tomorrow we head to our farmhouse compound in Umbria!!!!