On Sunday, we headed off on a day trip from Rome during my family vacation to Italy this past June. Despite rainy weather, our train from Termini Station to Santa Maria Novella Station took about 90 minutes. We bought roundtrip tickets in the machine with return reservations for early evening. The best thing about arriving in Florence by train is that you can walk into town.
The Duomo and The David
Our team of six divided up to see the sights. Unfortunately none of us bought passes in advance — so we missed the opportunity to climb the 400 steps of the Duomo church. We admired the exterior which is as beautiful as ever. The piazza is also a great place to peruse paintings from local artists. My son D and I each bought watercolor art.
My son D and his girlfriend Jo, and my daughter A and her friend J ventured around the city since Jo and J had never been. They were eager to go shopping for Italian leather goods in the open-air marketplace.
My sister N and I walked to the Galleria Dell’Accademia where Michelangelo’s David stands tall. Although we had both visited Florence previously, we had never seen the David. Sadly there were no more online passes available so we stood in line for more than an hour to buy our entry.
Was it worth the wait? Yes, yes, yes. David is an astounding masterpiece and well worth oohing and ahhing over.
More Sights and Shopping In Florence
With little time left to shop after the David, N and I stopped for a quick pizza break near the piazza that’s home to a carousel, then met up with our fellow travelers to shop for Italian leather goods. A and J bought leather jackets, Jo bought an orange leather tote, and with little coaxing, convinced me to buy one in eggplant. (Note: The link provided offers a very similar tote to the ones we bought.)
We walked to the San Lorenzo area to la Ménagère, a venue I had read about in The New York Times Travel Section. It is a spectacular 16,000 square feet complex with a coffee bar, flower shop, restaurant, cocktail bar, and retail space with expensive handmade ceramics. I loved, loved, loved the space and told my kids that if either decides to have a destination wedding (even though I don’t like destination weddings) I would gladly allow them to get married in Florence and have the reception at la Ménagère.
Always Room For Gelato
Before leaving for our train back to Rome, we stopped for gelato at My Sugar (Note that this website has some awesome food tips from a local girl in Florence). I can see why the Times said, “this tiny artisanal gelateria catapulted to the top of best-gelato lists.” The flavors were unique and absolutely delicious. I ordered a scoop of Mojito and Pineapple & Ginger. My Sugar took top honors at the Gelato Festival Firenze 2016. We all agreed that it was our favorite gelato experience during our stay in Italy.
Last Supper In Rome
Weary after walking seven miles around Florence, we spent our last evening in Rome at a neighborhood trattoria, Ai 3 Scalini, near the Colosseum. A few in our group ordered homemade gnocchi with pesto which tasted delizioso. My daughter A and I shared a whole filleted sea bass with tomatoes and shrimp. The sauce was so good that we asked for more bread to soak up every last drop.
Tomorrow we would leave the city for a week in the Amalfi Coast in a magnificent villa we rented in Positano. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.