Everyone was all smiles by the time we reached Florence. We dropped off Money Penny at a garage and then taxied over to our apartment. It was dreamy. I mean, as a mom, I will say that this apartment was dreamy. It included a washer and dryer, a kitchen (not that I wanted to cook but I was starting to get sick of eating out for every meal), and we had our own bedrooms, which meant I didn’t have to fall asleep to the sounds of bickering children. Instead, I fell asleep to the muffled sounds of bickering children. Like I said, this place was dreamy.
Our first stop was at a cafe dedicated to Dante. In college, I had studied Italian and aspired to read Dante’s Inferno in Italian. Well, that never happened . . . but I do still appreciate Dante’s art and story, and it was pretty cool to see medieval themed Florentine decor.
I have to be honest. I have no idea who this guy is. We saw the statue and kept moving, and I am pretty sure we walked by this statue pretty frequently and he usually had a pigeon sitting on top of his head.
This dude right here was sitting on a large turtle; I love art but I honestly cannot explain what the symbolism of the man riding the tortoise was . . .
This statue was right outside of one of the art museums (it may have been the Uffizi) and we walked by it everyday in Florence. And every time, I shuddered.
One of the tourist draws in Florence is Ponte Vecchio. There are little shops along this bridge and almost all of the shops sell jewelry. I like jewelry but it was more interesting to people watch when we walked across. We spent about 3 minutes at this bridge.
What I really loved about Florence and all of the cities was all of the walking. Everywhere we walk in the cities, there is always something different to see. In Florence there were so many beautiful views of the city.
Annabelle is always one of my favorite sites to see.
And Levi too . . .
Annabelle enjoyed eyeing the jewelry . . . Matt and I were like, um, you can get ideas for when we go shopping at the Leather Market (which was more in her 9 year old budget).
And what do you know but there was this awesome display in front of the Leica store. It must be a sign. I mean, literally it was a sign. But it could also be “a sign” that I should consider investing in a Leica. Or, I could send my children to college . . . you know. Priorities and all.
These two . . .
Annabelle and I loved getting to peak in all of the designer store fronts in both Florence and in Rome. We collected lots of pictures of displays on my cell phone so she’d have some inspiration for school clothes shopping at Target.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be brave enough to do it but I have this idea of myself riding around a European city, like a Florence or some romantic place without too much traffic (does that exist) on a motorcycle or Vespa. I’d really love to ride a Vespa through a low traffic and perfectly safe and beautiful city. I may have to just keep the fantasy.
We also walked over to see Giotto’s tower though we didn’t brave the tour up to the top.
More window shopping . . .
Oh Florence. How I love thee. Shoes and handbags on every corner.
More statues with pigeons on top.
I really can’t remember who this guy is. I will say that I admire the sculptors who worked on the statues throughout Florence and in the museums. The amount of detail that is carved into the marble is impressive.
And like the American tourist I am, I photographed lots of Italian signs with Italian words because it’s cool.
We also visited Museo Galileo and we got to see lots of cool science as well as Galileo’s preserved finger that was cut off when he refused to say that the sun did not revolve around the earth. One of our favorite displays in this museum was the globe room.
And Florence was owned by the Medicis at one point and this is a portrait bust of one of the Medici’s.
I can’t remember what this photo of Annabelle was all about but I think we were in the museum locker room.
And then we walked a bunch more and I took photos all over . . .
On one of our last nights in Florence, Matt asked us to walk across town to a hill overlooking the town. Oh ma don! It was quite a walk. All uphill. Serious butt workout.
Here’s Annabelle posing for a picture as we made our way up a staircase on the hillside.
There were street vendors and artists wherever we went in Florence.
But Matt was right. The view from the top of the hill was pretty good.
Being that my day job is taking photos of people, I was fascinated with the hand placement in paintings and sculptures. The top of the hand resting against the hip was “the pose” of the male nobility in Renaissance art. Not that I’m making fun. Look at us today with our hands on our hips. Chicken dinner.
We walked through a large Italian government ceremony. Pretty sure it had to do with World War II and the Holocaust.
And we did see David. Levi was super offended that his private parts were showing. His seven year old point of view was upset that the artist didn’t give the guy some coverage. We tried to explain that it’s art but he still wasn’t having it.
Me? I wanted to photograph David from every angle. Again, Matt and I were impressed with all the details in the veins of the limbs and hands that Michelangelo carved into the statue.
I haven’t showed Levi the pictures of David. I think we’ll wait until he’s 40.
The Uffizi also held many other sculptures.
Every now and again, I will let someone take my photo. This is why I prefer to hold the camera and shoot . . . I hate being photographed.
And then it was off to Cinque Terre . . .