Freckles Abroad: Florence, Italy

June 13, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I just got back from an incredible ten days in Italy with my family. Before this, I'd never spoken a word of Italian, owned a passport, tasted the frozen heaven that is gelato, or been outside of North America. Mind = blown. Being the obsessive photographer I am, I made sure to pack four memory cards, three batteries and safeguard my camera so my memories wouldn't get pick-pocketed abroad. I found an awesome camera bag that pretty much served as a Baby Bjorn for my Nikon. After all, my camera IS my baby!

Now back stateside and sorting through 2,000 photos, I've broken them up into the different regions of Italy I visited: Florence, Tuscany, a small town called Pietrasanta, and Cinque Terre. Here's the first installment from my new favorite city, Florence. Enjoy!

Florence, Italy

The architecture in Italy is incredible. So much depth, detail and contrast of light and dark.

Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy

Colorful old homes crossing the Arno River

Florence, Italy Lots of street vendors, performers and artists set up shop, willing to paint you a custom watercolor on demand. Never seen so many street artists in one place.

Florence, Italy Florence, Italy And sculptures. Sculptures for days.

Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Our hotel was right off a lively piazza, down a small, colorful alleyway with a gelateria a (dangerous) ten steps away. From our hotel room, we had amazing views of the Duomo (cathedral) located just a short walk away.

Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy So much detail poured into every inch.Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Now THAT's a door.Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy My family and I got tickets to explore the Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace), a Renaissance palace divided into "apartments" that long ago housed different Florentine royals. Inside we viewed the Galleria Palatina, a museum housing beautiful Renaissance works.
Sadly, cameras weren't allowed. Here's the exterior none-the-less:
Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Not too shabby for royal apartments.Florence, Italy On the same grounds were the Giardino di Boboli (Boboli Gardens).
 Surprisingly not as many flowers as you'd imagine, but lots of gorgeous cypress and lemon trees.
And sculptures. Sculptures for days.
Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Spectacular views of Florence from the top of the gardens.
Florence, Italy Yes, that's a stork. Scratching his nose on top of a scuplture.
Florence, Italy Lemon trees galore.
Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Lovely sculptures line a sun-drenched walk down to a fountain.
Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy One thing I'll miss seeing: those statuesque cypress trees. They will always remind me of Italy.

Florence, Italy Little side paths. Super romantic.
Florence, Italy Secret gardens? Love those too.
Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Once outside the gardens, it was time to hunt down some food. We found an incredible little cafe, Gusta Osteria, that served us to-die-for Greek salads and a just-as-delicious-as-it-looks bread and cheese plate. Definitely going back there again.
Florence, Italy Florence, Italy

At another cafe down the street, I spied (but didn't have enough room for) the most beautiful cannolis I'd ever seen.
Florence, Italy Yet another great dining find off the beaten path, Ristorante Pensavo Peggio.
Delicious everything and the chef treats you to shots of limoncello on your way out.
Florence, Italy Here's a view from another hotel we stayed in in Florence, on the Piazza Santa Maria Novella. The piazza is lively and colorful, with its own cathedral at the center.
Florence, Italy And now, to fulfill a special request for my Aunt Linda:
Shutters and Doors of Florence.
Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy This is just a small snapshot of my time in Florence. Already planning a return trip to soak it all in. Special thanks to my friends Lauren, Rebecca, Nikki and Brenda who gave me GREAT advice as a first-timer in Italy. Grazie!

All the photos above (and more of Florence) can be viewed and purchased here.

Next up: Tuscany!

-Laura
 

 


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