We had time for a quick coffee before we met with our apartment contact and caught a taxi to the train station. Once we arrived in Florence, we needed to get to Hotel David. Our taxi driver was Polish but had lived in Florence for a long time. She was a really good driver on those tiny streets! After a quick look around the place, we were ready to go find lunch. We asked the guy at the desk and he recommended two places. We chose Gigi’s (I couldn’t find a website, but TripAdvisor had pictures). And it was, without a doubt, the correct choice. It was amazing! A family owned place, with generations clearly working inside. The daily menu was hand-written on the outside of the restaurant…as was the dessert menu once we got that far into digesting the wonderful food. I had a salad (it had been a while), chicken liver bruschetta (tasted much better than it sounds), and for dessert, something that was translated on the hand-written paper as “ball of chocolate”. How could I say no to a BALL OF CHOCOLATE?!
After lunch, we split up a little. Sarah and Beverly went to Dante Alighieri‘s house and then sat in a cafe and relaxed. Cynthia and I went to the Salvatore Ferragamo shoe museum. We took a taxi to make the 3pm appointment. The building was HUGE! I learned about the museum from the Samantha Brown’s Passport to Europe on the Travel Channel. Watch the video…it can show you more than I can type. Also, no pictures inside since it’s a private collection. I ended up having a “moment” at some point in the museum while Cynthia was looking at how the shoes were made and put together. I teared up and realized I couldn’t believe how amazing the experience was. It took me a minute or two to regain control. We finished looking through the museum and I made a purchase (book, scarf) and we went outside where I took lots of pictures of the building so you can get a sense of the scale. Cynthia went in a church across the street and came out before I could go inside, explaining that we’d seen better since we had been to St. Peter’s Basilica. We started walking and I had a sharp intake of breath as we passed the Emilio Pucci store. So pretty! We kept moving and going in and out of stores along the way. We looked at Il Duomo and the golden doors and wandered until it was time to meet Sarah and Beverly at Grom (gelato place).
It was a long day of walking and we were starving by the time we got back to the hotel. We ask the new desk person what she recommended and she told us to try Gattabuia for really great pizza. She was right; it was really great.