We arrived in Florence Friday afternoon, sent a text to Francesco who was meeting us at our apartment where we would be living for the next three days. He was the perfect gentleman, showed us where everything could be found in the city and left us with a bottle of vino bianco and fresh fruit. This is definitely the way to travel! We were on the third floor with a very small elevator and four keys. One for the large front door, the heavy gate and two door to get in. We felt more than safe. I believe this is how all the apartments are. A rather large bedroom, kitchen, living room and a great shower! We also were able to wash our clothes.
We had the most delicious food which I will post in another entry, but in the middle of all that food was our beautiful Florence. Our apartment is directly down the street from the The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Duomo as us locals call it. This cathedral dominates the city of Florence with its magnificent dome and while I had been at this sight 10 years ago, I never saw it as I did this trip.
Yesterday, I took the opportunity to walk the 463 steps to the top of the Duomo or Cupola to see the fabulous view of Florence. I wasn't an easy climb, but well worth the trip! This morning, Jim and I attended Mass and as I write this post, I am hearing the bells call out to the city through our open window.
We walked the streets and checked out the sights, sounds and people. While I was out yesterday alone, I felt completely safe and comfortable. We took a walk to the mercato in the morning and i purchased fresh mozzeralla, zucchini blossoms, tomatoes, greens and meat. We headed home and I made a fabulous salad for lunch. Last night when we headed out to dinner, our suggested restaurant was full, beyond full, so we headed back towards the apartment and found our best meal in Florence. Everything happens for a reason.
Today after Mass, we had our tickets in hand and spent at least three hours at the Uffizi Gallery. While we saw Davide on our last visit, this museum is one of the world's greatest gallery's. An early dinner and now back at our apartment for the last night before we head for Verona tomorrow. I can't imagine it getting better than this...