Firenze, The Roman City

Written by Carly September 28, 2012

This past weekend was our first travel weekend here at CIMBA, so naturally a large group of us planned our first trip to Firenze, or Florence in the Italian region of Tuscany. I had been to Florence once before, but it was interesting to see how much my perspective of the city changed the second time.

Florence is known for the beautiful artwork from the Renaissance era and I realized how much more I appreciated the architecture of the city now that I’m older and understand the significance behind it. I’m a huge history buff, therefore I was in love with the museum in the Duomo and all of the artifacts they had on display. Fortunately, there are no rules against cameras or taking pictures in the Duomo, so my camera was flashing away! The word, duomo, literally stands for “dome” in English and you will see from my pictures just how impressive the dome of this historic church is. It’s amazing to think the Romans were able to build such a massive and detailed structure with such little technology. Once inside the church, I stood underneath the dome and looked up at the impressive painting on the ceiling. It truly is a work of art to say the least.

There were also impressive statues on display not only in the museum, but also throughout the city in the various piazzas. Michelangelo is probably the most famous artist in Firenze and this is obvious by the several replicas of his statue, David, you can find throughout the city.

Once we were done taking in all the history for the day, we headed to what Rick Steve’s classified as “the best view in Florence” in the Piazzale Michelangelo. This piazza is situated on the top of a hill, which meant we had a very steep uphill walk where some of us broke quite a sweat. Thankfully, I was wearing some comfortable walking shoes and not wedges like some of the girls in the group. By the time we reached the top we were exhausted, but the view from there was absolutely worth it. Looking out over the hill on all of Florence and the surrounding Tuscan area was by far one of my favorite things we did in Firenze.

According to some handy dandy travel guides, Firenze is home to the best gelato in Italy. After our treacherous uphill hike, we came across a gelateria, or gelato shop. I discovered my new favorite combination of flavors, pistacchio e cioccolato. Such a refreshing treat for a hot afternoon!

Our last day in Firenze was devoted entirely to shopping. Leather is a huge commodity in Florence and walking around the shopping district we encountered several world famous leather factories. They sold anything and everything made out of pure Italian leather: gloves, wallets, hats, jackets, purses, luggage bags, bracelets, etc. You name it, they had it!

Overall, our first travel weekend was quite a success! We managed not to look too much like the average American tourist, despite the fact that I was carrying my rolling suitcase. Until next time, arrivederci!