This is me.
Europe: Florence

Some people have been asking me when the Europe posts will ever end. Well, including this post there are three more places on my list.

I'm actually itching to write about what's been happening to me since Europe but I guess that'll have to wait until after this series is over. Because if I start now, the Europe commentary will never be finished. :D

Let's start with a beautiful view, shall we?

said beautiful view

Stopping in Florence, Italy for two days was wonderful. The buildings were mostly built with brick and stone; they practically had Renaissance written all over them. I guess that's understandable. Florence practically began the Renaissance.

a few of those old buildings

We began our stay in Florence by imbibing cups of gelato.

Kinder-inspired gelato

That's right, folks. Some clever Italian made gelato out of Kinder chocolate. It seemed weird at first, but it turned out pretty good. My sister practically inhaled all that creamy chocolate goodness.

Tiramisu & Cookie Dough

The Tiramisu in my cup was genius. It had cake crumbs and a slight tinge of alcohol buried in all that creaminess. It was quite good. The Cookie Dough flavor wasn't that bad either though pretty forgettable. In fact, I don't remember much of how it tasted like.

It was still a lot better than most gelatos I'd tried back home. But still, it was disappointing.

We followed behind a tourist group and saw the sights.

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is striking, isn't it?

The name is a bit of a mouthful though so I shall refer to it as Duomo --- the Italian word for a cathedral church --- from now on. It was this large building with more detail on its walls than my camera could handle. As often happens in Europe, there were loads of tourists. This immediately took away the desire to go in said church and walk through its hallowed halls. The Girl Who Ate Everything did post about huffing and puffing to the top of the Duomo though, so you can check her out for more details.

But the outside was already so cool. Even the doors of the baptistry --- where people were baptized before they could go in the church --- were meticulously done.

Each panel on the door was a story, and made out of metal besides. That must have taken a lot of effort.

the Duomo in the fading light

We also saw some other old stuff. We passed through the Medicee Chapels, a testament to the glory days of one of the greatest patron families of Florence. It housed the tombs of the Medici family, and even a few glass ornaments containing their brown bones and teeth. I don't think it was very good photo material, but I guess I wasn't allowed to take any pictures anyway.

The marble sculptures by Michelangelo blew me away though. I mean, every figure was so detailed down to the veins on a person's arm. And marble is hard to sculpt. It was also fascinating to hear about the different themes and hidden meanings behind all the art. I couldn't get my mind around some of the ideas; I think I was just surprised those deep ideas would be lurking behind marble positions and faces and whatnot.

one of the statues I was allowed to take shots of

No, that last one wasn't in a museum. It could be though. Statues like that dotted the different squares and intersections of Florence. It was so cool.

We also looked at what people were peddling in the markets.

a really interesting chess set

I would have bought the set and brought it home. Except I didn't want to carry it back almost half a world away.

baked yumminess

Then there were the usual cookies, cakes, and baked goods. We didn't get any though; we were trying to save space in our stomachs for dinner. We hoped it would be as good as this guy's dinner seemed to be.

I just had to snap a picture.

Dinner did come along eventually at a cafe by a square.

It won't surprise readers that I have forgotten the cafe's name.

My Dad opted for a pizza and a beer. My Mother, for some reason, was not feeling very hungry. I think I remember her getting dessert. But my sister and I had the most amazing meals.

Daphy, my sister, found the lasagna delicious. It was also extremely cheesy; I helped finish it since Daphy later found it too rich to continue gorging on.

Risotto with Salmon

My risotto was darling though it came in twice the amount I'm used to eating. That's always been my main peeve about eating abroad; the servings are all so large. Maybe tourists who visit our area also get nitpicky about how small the dishes are.

Either way, little bits of salmon in a warm pillowy bed of risotto was a wonderful way to go. It also helped that salmon is one of my favorite kinds of fish.

Unfortunately, the amount of carbohydrates in that dish --- and my sister's besides --- made me too full to really enjoy a good dessert.

We emerged the restaurant to find the city of Florence lighted up. I especially loved passing by this really cool merry-go-round. It's been a long time since I've seen one of those. In fact, the last time I rode one, I was too short to climb on the horse.

Isn't it pretty?

the carousel up close

All in all, Florence was a great place to visit. Every place we went to was a great place to visit. :D More on the rest later!

Daisy on 12/18/2007 06:17:00 PM