Thinking about our stroll last night, the thing that stands out is how happy everyone is: couples kissing on the corner (more like necking actually), friends having a vape or a gelato while sitting on one of the bridge walls, moms holding the baby while dads carry the stroller up the stone steps, couples holding hands while window shopping. We have seen that in many places where you would expect big crowds, the lines are not so long and it is not wall-to-wall people. The benefit of September.
We started the day with coffee then headed out on our first planned walk. We have walked 10,000 to 18,000 steps a day but break it up a few times which helps Linda’s low back and Dave’s feet. We cross the energetic Ponte Vecchio bridge several times a day and there is so much to see we hardly think about what hurts!
We .walked though the city from the Oltrarno to the Mercato Centrale. Along the way we visited from the outside Palazzo Vecchio, Florence Cathedral (including the Baptistery and Dome). The enormity of the cathedral is breathtaking.
In the Mercado Centrale (large indoor city market), we took tons of photos and then took Matt & Carlee’s suggestion for a roast beef sandwich at Nerbone which did not disappoint! We have found the prices here very reasonable whether for dining or grocery or treasures…makes Linda wish she’d brought an extra suitcase. Dave, on the other hand… 😉
On our 20-minute walk back to the apartment, Linda suggested gelato (Dave says this is a recurring theme) – in that 20 minute walk, we must have passed a dozen gelaterias. Linda chose pineapple and coconut; Dave had caramel and Oreo creme. Upon returning to the apartment, the elevator was being worked on – the man said 5 minutes – so we walked back out to the street rather than walk the 5 flights! It was a smart decision because the man was true to his word. Just so you know, we’ve counted the steps going down and there ninety-five of them. Walking up would not have been fun.
When our afternoon break ended, we started back out to explore the city.
Our first stop this evening was Basilica di Santa Trinita. This is a beautiful church with twenty separate chapels (though Linda only counted eighteen).
After some time at Santa Trinita, we headed back to the Oltrarno.
Here, our first stop was at Chiesa di Santa Maria del Carmine. This is a huge church from the outside, but has nothing special from a “wow factor” on the outside. The inside, however, very nice. There was a worship service going on, so we stayed in the back of the sanctuary to take pictures.
From there we continued to Bascilica di Santo Spirito. We have just the one picture as they were closing up and the woman in charge of closing made it very clear that we were to get out. Maybe Dave can get back there tomorrow or Wednesday morning.
From there we made our way to Pitti Palace and took in the size of the building. The palace was built in 1458 and was purchased by the Medici family in 1549. It also housed Napoleon. It currently houses multiple museums.
We then stopped for dinner at a restaurant near our apartment. The food was fine, but we were once again disappointed that spaghetti pomodoro was cooked tomatoes, not fresh tomatoes. Linda had a new drink for us, a Hugo Spritz. It is made from elderflower liqueur, instead of Aperol.
We then went back to the apartment to drop off a couple of tops Linda bought and then turned around to go have a cocktail at a place we passed early in our journey. The drinks did not disappoint. Linda had a drink called the Jungle Bird; while Dave had a Last Word. Both were excellent.
It was time to head home and get to bed.