Florence holds a special place in my heart. I traveled to Florence one weekend 10 years ago during my study abroad program. I thought it was magical - a smaller, more quaint vibe compared to the bustling city of Rome.
We brought mom and dad to Florence for a few days to explore the magical city. The one thing I really love about Florence is the Arno River that runs right through it.
Walking down the river and crossing into the historic center brought back my 16-year old self and all the feelings I had the weekend I spent there.
Mom and dad took some time to rest at the Airbnb and Collin and I made our way over to the Duomo to climb the Campanile and the Duomo itself.
Yet again we always found ourselves climbing stairs whereever we happened to be in Europe.
The views were breathtaking. I love being able to look out over the city, admiring the rust-colored rooftops down below.
The Duomo ceiling boasts some incredibly bizarre paintings that I'm sure hold religious connotations that I was unaware of.
We had lunch at Mercato Centrale and grabbed some snacks and treats for later (best dried mango ever).
We spent the rest of the day exploring the city and The Boboli Gardens (which we would not recommend).
The park is huge but unfortunately hasn't been maintained to preserve its original grandeur.
The next day we picked up our tickets and explored the Uffizi Gallery. Having been here once before I knew that many of the Renaissance masters' paintings were on display in the u-shaped gallery.
Collin made a b-line for his favorite painting - The Birth of Venus.
Walking through the room filled with Botticelli makes you aware of how amazing the masters were compared to their contemporaries.
Having had our fill of Renaissance art we headed over to see my old friend, David.
Michelangelo's David is perfection in marble.
You have to see David in person to understand his immense scale.
We took our time, stopping at various benches along the corridor, to admire Michelangelo's work (and rest our feet).
Tip: We would all highly recommend visiting the Duomo at night. It lights up the night sky and you don't have to weave through crowds.
Florence didn't disappoint. But we were excited for our next stop - Cinque Terre. Check back soon for more!