We left Amalfi very early Sunday morning with our classmate, Sara. It was nice to know where we were going and already have a place to stay. Sara was studying in Florence. Although I hated waking up so early on my vacation, it was still a little nicer because the buses and the train were not as crowded as usual. Other than another bus ride down a West Virginia mountain road that was about one and a half cars wide, the trip to Salerno for the train was fairly uneventful. Thankfully we arrived in Salerno with plenty of time to purchase our tickets and hop on the Eurostar for our five hour ride to Florence.
I liked Florence a lot. The city was a lot more laid back and everyone seemed to move at a much slower pace than the citizens of Rome. Also, maybe it was just the part of the city I was in, but it seemed like Florence had a lot less graffiti than Rome did. Our first night there my classmate Sara, who had been studying in Florence, took us to a restaurant she knew of. As you can probably expect, I was elated to find it was a buffet. For a mere 8 euro we were able to get a drink and all-you-can-eat buffet. The buffet had a ton of weird stuff on it that I would not touch, i.e., Kenneth and David would not have stepped foot in the door. But they did have some potato salad that blew my mind. Point is, I ate until I basically had to roll myself back to the hotel.
The second day we went exploring a bit. Everything was within walking distance and we were able to hit everything we wanted to see that day in about two hours. Our first stop was Cupola del Duomo.
This was one of the biggest churches I have ever seen. Also, as with most every other church I had seen in Italy, the architecture and detail was amazing.
Across the street from Duomo, in the Piazza Duomo, was some other really old building. I have no idea what the building was used for or anything like that, but I was amazed at the detail on the door. This door was actually created in 1401. It just blows my mind how someone can create something so large, yet detailed, so long ago. I wasn’t able to get close enough to get a picture of it, but each square on the door depicts a vivid scene of some historical importance.
Continuing on, we reached the Palazzo Vecchio. Again, I have no idea what this building was, but it was very Medieval Times-esque.
In front of the building were a ton of statues. This one is not the actual statue of David, but only a replica of the actual statue. I’ve taken the liberty of censoring it for any young readers in the demographic this blog may reach.
This next statue was on the other side of the door from David. I have no idea of the story behind it, but they look a little too close for comfort. Maybe they should relocate this one to San Francisco? Again, I censored this one as well. In fact, I should have probably just blacked out the entire picture.
Finally we got to Ponte Vecchio. This is a bridge spanning the river that actually had apartments or shops of some sort built into it.
The view from the back of the bridge offered a nice view of the river as it continued away from the city and into the mountains.
Standing in the center of the bridge and looking down the river gave another great view of the other bridges of the city.
As we walked back through the streets of the city I saw something that I knew dad would appreciate. Although these street drawings are not the three-dimensional drawings that blow our minds, the detail was still amazing.
Finally I saw it, the reason things are so expensive in Florence: the cops drive Defenders.
I guess they have to have some substantial finances to keep these things gassed up and running the streets. They get about eight miles to the gallon. Nonetheless, if I was a cop, I would definitely opt for the Defender over the Mini Cooper that most of the fuzz zip around the city in.
Florence was great and I would love to come back. However, next time I would probably bring more money as there were plenty of things I could buy here that were far too rich for my blood. Now it’s off to Amsterdam for a few more days of fun before “class” starts. See you there.