September 17, 2011

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?!

The sitting area of Hotel David.

Outside sitting area at Hotel David.

Sarah relaxing in the garden.

The house white at Gigi's.

The wee chef at the table.

Cynthia's beverage of choice.

The house red at Gigi's.

Ball of chocolate? Yes, please!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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).

Ferragamo!

See how big the building is?!

And it's tall.

Front door. So welcoming.

Ferragamo store window.

Ferragamo hanging banner.

Window dressing.

More window dressing.

The building must hold so many shoes.

Just think of the shoes.

We went inside...we bought nothing.

Carousel in the piazza.

Sidewalk chalk artist in Florence.

Il Duomo...

Il Duomo from the front.

The dome of Il Duomo.

Belltower.

Building with gold doors, across from Il Duomo.

Another view of Il Duomo.

Look! There's Cynthia!

Il Duomo, panning upward.

Still in front of Il Duomo.

Dante quote on building.

Golden Door.

Close up of a panel on the door.

Another panel.

And another panel...

Fake flower outside of a cute store.

Medici Chapel, on the way to the market.

Evening in the piazza.

Street at night.

Beverly petting the snout for luck.

View from bridge at night.

Under the bridge at night.

Flags outside of the royal walkway over the bridge.

View from the bridge at night.

Old tower. Never as close to the hotel as Sarah and I thought.

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.

Pretty and tasty!

Pear, gorgonzola, and walnut pizza. YUM!

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