We stayed in an Air BnB about 30 minutes drive outside of Florence, so it was only natural that we visited this amazing city...twice! We just loved this culturally rich, beautiful, and exciting place- there is so much to do and see!
We parked our rental and walked about 15 minutes through the side streets and into the main square. We couldn't see much as far as the main attractions go as we went, but the instant we came out from behind a building, the incredible Il Duomo di Firenze just jumped right out at us with its colorful grandeur...we don't know how we didn't see it as we walked because it is massive, but it was the most incredible surprise. Pictures just cannot do the colors and size and scope of this edifice any justice at all- I have never seen anything quite like it. We waited a good long time to climb to the top of Giotto's famous bell tower for views of the city and the cathedral from above. While we waited, the kids chased pigeons and each other. Mom and Dad made sure we soaked in the people and sights as well as the beautiful music being played by street performers...oh, Italy, you just do it all right.
View from partway up the bell tower (above) and below is the view of the line we waited in. The stairs to climb to the top of the tower were super narrow and pretty full of people- it definitely kept things interesting. :)
The view from the top of the tower and the famous dome of the Duomo. That Firenze skyline isn't too shabby either.
I am so grateful for these sweet kids that are up for whatever Brian and I plan and really don't complain much. I love them so much.
After our climb, we wandered the gorgeous streets and, of course, picked up some gelato to keep us company. We also stopped at the Duomo Museum where we saw Michelangelo's Pieta, Donatello's Mary Magdalene and Ghiberti's original bronze "Gates of Paradise" panels.
Walking up, up, up these steps to the Piazza Michelangelo for the very best view of Florence...
Being here you totally get why this was the capital of the Renaissance- its overflowing with amazing art, sculptures, gardens, buildings and eclectic churches. Above, we let the kids ride this carousel because it looked too perfect to just pass it by.
These two are the best of friends. They really are. I mean, sure they fight, but they love each other fiercely and will happily play together for hours on end. I love watching their sweet relationship build.
My favorite part of Florence was seeing the David, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture beautifully created by a 26-year old Michelangelo in the early 1500's. The detail is just amazing- it really is incredible. The more time you spend studying the perfect carving, the more you want to study it. It seriously is one of the most magnificent things I've ever seen.
While Florence may not be the best place to spend time with young kids, I am so happy that we came here. The city itself is magic and the artwork here is so important for little ones to witness, even if for a brief moment.