Sunday, July 13, 2014

Italy!!!!! First SOLO vacation ever. And it was incredible.

Hi All,

I am home from my first ever solo vacation!!!  Success :-D  So as you know, I went to Florence, Italy for 6 days, from July 4-10.  This is something I booked about 4 months ago, unsure who I might go with but knowing I might end up going on my own too (and being open to that possibility).

That is what ended up happening.  And it ended up being wonderful.

This entry will mostly be photos, and a LOT of them.  But I will add in some text beneath photos as well, where I feel its important to explain ;-)

Also, the photos from my trip will be split into three blog entries.  Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, because I have so many photos.

And so begins, Part 1 of my Italy trip:

Gelato of course.  As Italy is known to have the best ice cream in the world.

The Duomo.  The focal point of the city.

Santa Croce.  The room I rented was about a three minute walk from here.  Also, Michelangelo is buried in this church.

The street I lived on when I studied abroad here during college, in 2008!  Via de Benci.

Famous Ponte Vecchio bridge.

Ate on this street.  One of the best meals I had on the entire trip.

Rivoire Cafe, an incredibly famous dessert spot in Florence.  Way overpriced, but totally delicious.

Piazza Signoria.

Piazza Signoria.

Piazza Signoria.

This meal was EXCELLENT.  Blue cheese gnocchi with pears.  Wow.  The cheese sauce, strong flavor, balanced perfectly with the light sweetness of the pears.  YUM.

Love this piazza at night <3

Sacher Torte at Rivoire Cafe.  Delicious and rich.

Free concert almost every night in Piazza Signoria.  Sometimes a live brass band, other times an orchestra, always very good.

A little lizard!!!  They were everywhere!

Apartment I stayed in.  Lovely kitchen.

Piazza Republica.

The Duomo.  Made in Italian colors :-D

Loved this clock.  Way cool.

Delicious focaccia for lunch.


Pretty earrings I got <3

Homes along the Arno river.

On the Ponte Vecchio bridge, jewelry has been sold by talented artisans for years now.  The jewelry store fronts look like treasure chests when they are neat.  Here they are, open for business.

Salmon Pasta.

Delicious chocolate pie with pastry cream on the bottom.

Really neat restaurant I went to, 13 Gobbi.  EXCELLENT food.

I was not prepared for this photo haha.  The waiter just grabbed my camera and snapped it with no warning!

So.  I was going to order a more elaborate dish, with more ingredients.  But the waiter insisted I get this.  The signature dish with tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella cheese.  He said he guarantees I will love it, and will eat the whole thing.  I loved it, and I ate the entire thing.

Close up.  Delicious.  The cheese on the bottom was stringy and melted, the tomato sauce almost close to a broth consistency, perfectly seasoned..SO good.

I just thought this street looked really cool with the lanterns.

"Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow."

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