Well… not exactly by night. Day trips to be exact.
Right as we got off of the train and had arrived in Florence, I knew that there would be amazing things in store. On the walk from the train station to our hotel, we casually passed by the Duomo which was breathtakingly gorgeous. But day 1 in Florence did not stop there. Dr. P arranged a gondola down the Arno River and we floated down under the Ponte Vecchio bridge accompanied with fruit and sandwiches, as if the experience wasn’t already perfect. This ride down the Arno was truly a moment I will never forget. We all laughed and talked while taking in the city from the best perspective.
But the good times in Florence did stop there. We were then split into our groups for the city and were given our new set of tasks. The city did not stop impressing me the entire time we were exploring. Every corner you turned, something beautiful appeared. We explored the Uffizi Gallery and the Galileo museum. Even though many members of my group, myself included, would not consider themselves scientifically inclined, we can all agree seeing Galileo’s finger made it worth it. My favorite thing we saw, however, had to be the statue of David, and not just because of the jokes that have arisen (sorry Ryal). We had seen other replicas of the statue, but none would compare to the original David. I sat looking at the stature trying to comprehend how Michelangelo managed to carve a 17 foot statue out of marble while making the features look so real. The veins on his arm and the way his muscles were flexing were extremely realistic to a human body, so to imagine him chiseling this by hand blew my mind. Not to mention that Michelangelo was only in his early twenties when he sculpted David, further emphasizing his true genius.
Next came the day trips. Our first was to Pisa. Pictures don’t do the dramatic tilt of the building justice. We climbed all the way to the top of the tower and, of course, took some very cliché photos.
The next day trip was a favorite of mine. Venice. I had always wanted to Venice and had no idea I would get the opportunity to visit. Plus when I found out the city is slowly sinking, I knew it was now or never. A group of 7 traveled to Venice. We made our way to the train station and purchased our tickets and, surprisingly, we weren’t late for our train. After we made it to Venice without a hitch, we navigated our way throughout the city without ever having to buy a map. I loved how the group took the day slowly and wandered around the streets without a real plan. We would take about what the group would want to do next with no stress at all. We had amazing pasta, stopped for gelato, and of course, took a gondola ride.
As we arrived back in Florence, we met up with the rest of the group and headed to Piazza de Michelangelo to say our goodbyes to the city.
Florence brought some of my favorite experiences along with it, and while I was sad to see it go, the memories that were made were absolutely amazing. From gondolas to eating at Fabio’s restaurant multiple times, we did Florence right.