[On the way to Florence--the selfie wouldn't be complete without a photo bomber, so I'm glad the man behind us obliged.]
[Didn't see the real David, but we did see the replica in the main square.]
There were lots of things I expected about Florence--I expected to enjoy seeing the Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery and the River Arno, which I did. But there were also many unexpected things that happened, like:
--Being blown away by the beauty of the Duomo . . .
[I spy with my little eye . . .]
[It is absolutely incredible. This lovely sight greeted us as we walked from the train station to our hotel. It is massive.]
[You can't see it super well in the pictures, but the Duomo has a lot of pinks and greens.]
[I think our photo bomber friend followed us.]
[I loved these doors.]
[And the baptistery doors, too. I mean, I guess they're pretty neat.]
the Ponte Vecchio . . .
[I kept singing "O, Mio Babbino Caro" to myself, since it mentions both the Ponte Vecchio and the Arno.]
. . . and the artwork in the Uffizi Gallery (particularly The Birth of Venus).
[The Italians and their domes]
[The Birth of Venus]
--Finding a monster in a triptych at the Uffizi Gallery.
[Look closely at the right triptych]
[Do you see him?]
[There is a monster right beside these Florentine chicks as part of this "Adoration of the Shepherds" scene. And everyone's just like, "Oh, nbd. it's fine. I'm just here and chill and cool and there's a monster praying alongside me." It was so bizarre and awesome.]
--Accidentally climbing a mountain and being led to the most stunning views of the Florence skyline.
[A hike so nice we did it twice.]
--During that same climb, finding an ancient church dating back to 1018, as well as a massive Italian cemetery.
--Eating peach gelato and having my life changed (no pictures, unfortunately, because my mind was blown at that time).
--Enjoying the twists and turns and hidden charms of the city.
--Spontaneously buying tickets to La Traviata, but then having the opera being rained out . . . so instead we got some nice, quiet time by the Ponte Vecchio at night.
I can only think of cheesy things to say to end this post, but I think that out of all the things that I didn't expect in Florence, the peach gelato was the best surprise. Yep. There you go. Life changer right there. That and the monster in the triptych. I'll remember him for a loooonnnng time.
Just kidding. But not entirely kidding.