This morning our group said goodbye to Milan and took a bus to Florence. The bus ride was long, but the Italian countryside was very scenic. We drove past fields, mountains, tress, and farms, all of which contributed to an enjoyable trip to Florence. Once in Florence we settled into our hotel, and it is probably the nicest hotel I have veered stayed in. It is designed in the renaissance Italian fashion with high, ornate ceilings and a very homey decor. After settling in, we walked over to the Uffizi Gallery which houses paintings and sculptures from some of the most famous artists ever! We saw works from Michelangelo, Rafael, and Da Vince himself. We learned about the Medici family and how all of their wealth (which was largely in the art we were viewing) was donated to the city of Florence by the last Medici upon her death. The gallery was very impressive, not only in content, but also in architecture. The entire city of Florence seems to have stopped aging centuries ago, and the gallery was no different.
After finishing our tour of the gallery, we had an hour to look around before we had a group dinner. During that hour, I was able to walk around some of central Florence where I was amazed at the number of shops, restaurants, and gelaterias that could be found lining every street. I saw so many places that I would love to go and try, but I am only here for a few days. One of the main highlights I came across was a marketplace that consisted of a long, narrow street that was lined with vendors and covered over with canvases. Here vendors were pedaling different clothing and fashion accessories, but mostly leather goods. I am excited to take a closer look tomorrow, but all it all looked so unique that I wanted to buy one of everything.
After walking around the market for a short time, it was time for dinner. We went to a very nice indoor restaurant and ate a meal consisting of pasta and veal. It was very good, and very filling, as I’m becoming accustomed to. Tomorrow we will be visiting a school of leather making, and hopefully learning about many of the goods that I saw in the market today. Until then, Ciao!