So on a last minute decision we ended up going to Florance for the day! It's only a 3 hour drive so it wasn't too bad and we stayed at Camp Darby for the night so that helped alot. Getting to Florance was easy. We've been down that road a million times before and knew what it was like. There was no snow this time so that was a bonus :) Once we got into Florance however the GPS decided it wanted to take us the "scenic" route. Man it's kinda neat when it does this but I swear it needs to know how big our van is because there's no way it was going to fit down some of those streets it wanted us to.
We finally made it to the Centro of Florance and found a great parking spot right along the river. I was worried we weren't going to find things once we got out of the van but it's hard not to miss the churches and Italian culture all around you.
One of mine and the girls' favorite stores was this bridal shop. Now when you think of Italy I guess it's safe to say you think of Florance. Everything was done up for the tourists and it just felt safer there for some reason. These wedding dresses were in the windows of this little store and they were done up with flowers and sashes of Green, White and Red (the Italian flag colors). They were beautiful dresses. I didn't look at the price tag or go into the store but if we go there again I'm definitely going to take a look :)
Of course when you are in Florance the MAIN thing you have to see is the Pizza Del Duomo, the Cathedral, the Baptistry, and Giotto's Bell-Tower. We were using a map to get around and when we stopped to look at the map and see where we were I turned right and saw this....
I'd say we found what we were looking for! We started walking around it and saw the Baptistry. This door is is called Ghibrerti's 'Paradise'. It is a series of ten panels depicting stories from the Old Testament. It was beautiful!
Walking around the church was incredible. It is HUGE!!! The pictures sure don't do it justice but they are the best I could get.
After walking around the Church we decided to head to the famous Bridge that is made of shops. You can't be in Florance and Not see that. On our way we saw a carousel so we let the kids have a ride. It only cost 1 Euro each, the cheapest one they've been on since we got here!
On the streets were all kinds of performers like always. I've never seen sidewalk painters yet though so this was neat to see. It really looked like the picture, he did a great job!
Once we made it to the Ponte Vecchio Bridge there were a ton of little shops, mostly jewelry. Prices were high of course but tourists pay it so why not right. It really is amazing to see. So far out of everything we have seen in Italy, this is the place that reminds me of Italy the most. It's a must see if anyone is ever going to make it to Italy.
Locks of Love were hung everywhere they could put them! We'll have to get one hung up before we leave.
Florance, A must see place and wonderful atmosphere of Italy.