Romance in Firenze

Arriving to Firenze after visiting Slovenia was a bit of a shock. I mean, not the kind of shock that leaves you speechless but a small shock that takes about a second to absorb the contrast. Getting off the train we instantly have to wake up and prepare our five senses to make sure we know where we’re going. People are all over the place walking 1,000 times faster than us, screaming Italian from one end to the other. We forget to download the map of Firenze but have written directions: Walk 10 min on Via Nazional, make a left on Via XXVII Aprile and look for #32. I remember them clearly because they were wrong. Luckily we had the right address. We keep walking and find a nice person that speaks Spanish and guides us to the right street. The narrow streets and lack of a side walk makes me feel like I have a license plate on my ass, which is OK until a moped speeds right next to you missing you only by a hair!

We got to Firenze around 2 pm and since the world is tilted, we only have three more hours of sunlight. We drop off our bags and decide to start visiting the city. Our end goal is Plaza Michelangelo for sunset but along the way we get to see first David along with his other sculpture friends at Piazza della Signoria, have a square slice of Florentine pizza [not as good as the Margherita from Napoli], eat some gelato, and visit Ponte Vecchio.

I really wish we had Monkey, there are so many great pictures here that can be taken with him. I am sad … but just for a second.

We arrive at Piazza Michelangelo and see David #2. We find a flat stone on the edge of the cliff where Sara and I sit down and enjoy the sunset as the rays of the sun hit on one of the largest Duomo’s in the world. As the sun starts to set, a full moon starts to rise and this is one of the top romantic moments of our trip so far.

This reminds me, back in Barcelona, we were chatting with Romeena at the W Hotel about how when you travel you get to experience relaxation and enjoy the small things in life. She was traveling through Europe for the first time and enjoyed the culture. She was saying that one couldn’t enjoy the beauty of the world where you work because you are so stressed about this and that and get home tired. At first I agreed with her but then I realized that one has to have priorities. Sara and I have not seen a sunset in San Francisco for a while! Yet, we live in one of the most picturesque cities of the world. NOTE TO SELF: Enjoy life and your surroundings wherever you are, no need to travel to the other side of the world to be romantic or enjoy good food.

After a wonderful sunset, we head back to the hotel to take a nap and wait for Alex to send us a message so we can meet up. He’s in a tour of Italy himself. It’s so great to meet up with friends anywhere around the world. We meet up in front of the Duomo and head to drink some good Italian wine. We drink and chat until the wine bar closes and decide to walk the streets of Firenze at night. What a beautiful city, full of art and architecture. We say our goodbyes and pass out.

We decide to not be tourists the next day and enjoy a wonderful Panini at a Paninoteca next to our hotel. Oh my God! It was amazing: focaccia bread, chicken sautéed with green pepers, onions, potatoes … mmmmm! I think we had lunch or dinner there more than a few times. =)

The day we leave Firenze, we decide we want to splurge and buy some leather. It is the leather capital of Italy and they have purses, jackets, wallets, shoes, etc. At first we did not want to buy ourselves anything … not only do we have to carry it but also it’s out of our budget. But the consumer part of me wins and I start looking for the right jacket. I did not have to look very far because as I enter in one store, the guy says: espera … and comes back with the perfect size and a style I really like. Sara also finds her jacket and we start to negotiate. That’s an art I have not mastered yet but I confess I was proud of going from 270 euros down to 200 for both jackets. I should have gone down to 180 but I was lazy and really wanted to catch the early train to Napoli.

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