Monday, July 11, 2011


We arrived in Florence by mid-day and checked into the hostel Ostello Gallo D'Oro. On the reception's advice we headed to the covered market for a quick and delicious lunch and some dried porcini mushrooms to bring home as a souvenir. Once satiated, we headed to the Piazza del Duomo to see the cathedral and famous Baptistery doors by Ghiberti. We continued to the Palazzo Vecchio and escaped the heat in the inner courtyard with Vasari's frescos. 

Left: "Perseus Slaying Medusa" by Cellini, outside the Palazzo Vecchio

Crossing the Ponte-Vecchio we found a wine bar with a selection of meats and cheeses to accompany their selection of Italian wines. We finished off the mid-day snack with some Gelato before heading back to the hostel for a siesta. 

That night we wandered up to the Palazzo Della Signoria to see the David copy and the view of the city at night.

The next day we did a museum tour heading out early in the morning to see the real David in the Galleria dell'Accademia. We also went to see the beautiful frescos of Fra Angelico in the old San Marco monastery. 

We spent the afternoon eating gelato at the annual Gelato festival sampling a variety of flavors ranging from olive oil to red wine, surprisingly delicious.  For dinner we went to the highly recommended Volume. It’s more of a tapas bar, but after ordering two beers and having two large platters brought out for just the two of us we were too full for another meal, not to mention all the gelato we’d eaten.

The next morning we left for our final destination, the Cinque Terre…

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