Scene 1: Lunch with a fox, shopping for cowbells and getting overserved.
After the 2-hour train ride, we arrived in Florence. We hopped in a cab and 5 minutes later we arrived at our hotel: Hotel Piazza Signoria.
This hotel was centrally located on the main piazza: Piazza Signoria. But it wasn’t just a hotel as the name suggests, these were well-equipped apartments complete with kitchenttes and fast WIFI. We stayed in the penthouse unit. Which was apartment 601.
Why did we need the penthouse? You’ll know soon.
The living area in the penthouse.
This hotel had the most luxurious toiletries of all of the hotels we stayed in while in Italy.
But this is the reason why we reserved the penthouse. The apartment had a full balcony and this was the view.
Even though we were on the 6th floor, we always opted to climb the stairs as opposed to using this teeny-tiny elevator.
There was pretty much just room for one Lisa inside of it. But the stairs were very cool and it was good to climb them. We had to work off some of the pasta, pizza and wine we consumed non-stop!
On the way to lunch we passed by this gelato shop – it had mountains and mountains of gelato on display!
Our lunch location of the day was Osteria Il Gatto E la Volpe. (The Cat and the Fox.) Our friend recommended this restaurant and we absolutely loved it!
They had a large wine selection…this was our pick:
And lots of delicious food choices which of course included pizza and pasta. And of course, we ordered pizza and pasta.
Ronnie loved his pizza and Lisa’s ravioli? Absolutely perfect!
After our late lunch we strolled around Florence.
And discovered this shop: La Bottega del Chianti. It was kind of like the Florence version of a Pier One Imports….but with one main difference:
Wine. Lots and lots and lots and lots of wine. Free wine.
The minute you step inside of the shop, Michael, (the owner) hands you a glass and fills it to the top with wine as he says, “Drink, Drink.” He then proceeds to slice fresh meat and cheeses – hands them to you and says, “Eat. Eat.” This cycle of, “Drink. Drink. Eat. Eat.” continued the entire time we were shopping. Anytime a glass would be half-full he would walk up and fill it up again. Oh, and if he opened a new bottle and you had half a glass? He encouraged you to finish your glass really fast because he had a new bottle of wine for you to try and you don’t mix wine!
By the way, see the doorway in the above picture? That is basically the size of the entire store. The owner managed to squeeze 4 to 5 people inside of a space that should only fit 2 to 3.
Michael knows the key to success: Get your customers drunk on red wine and they will buy lots of stuff!
And that we did!
In this tiny store, he had gorgeous wood bowls and cheese boards, copper pans, wine, deli meat, and even cowbells. If you saw it, you could buy it.
- Yes, we were WAY overserved at the shop.
- Yes, it was tons of fun.
- And yes, we thought we only bought one cowbell but ended up with two. Oops.
Scene 2: The search for bacon and a naked guy named David.
Our alarm was not our friend this morning. But we had a 10:15 date with a naked guy named David at the Academia Gallery so there was no sleeping in today.
We were in desperate need of bacon and eggs. So, as we walked to the Academia Gallery we kept our eyes peeled for the perfect breakfast spot.
We passed by such incredibly beautiful buildings and lots of cafes. But none of which served bacon.
Why does nobody serve bacon and eggs for breakfast?
After much searching, we finally found one. The Oliandolo Cafe was open and serving bacon and eggs.
Oliandolo Cafe to the rescue!
Bacon, eggs and 4 cappuccinos later we were on our way to meet David.
We prepurchased reserved tickets so we wouldn’t have to wait in line.
But when we arrived at the Academia Gallery, there were lines. Lots and lots of very long lines running everywhere!
We had no idea what to do or where to go.
All we knew was that we didn’t want to stand in a super long line in the rain. (The only day we needed an umbrella was the day we left it in our apartment.)
Lisa walked around with the tickets asking random people wearing official-looking vests, “Where do we go?”
Answer one: “Go to door 51.”
We go in. They tell us no. You don’t need to be in this line.
Answer two: “Go across the street to that line.”
We showed that person our tickets.
Answer three: “No. You don’t belong in this line. Go across the street.”
Answer four: “You are in the right place. Stand in this line.”
Finally, somebody pointed us to the line we needed to stand in! With our fancy ticket, we only had to wait 15 minutes once we were in the correct line.
We present to you, David:
It was so incredible seeing the David in person.
This museum was jam-packed with people. There were groups of tours walking in every different direction. We always felt like we were swimming upstream.
There were several rooms with sculptures –
And a special instrument museum which was really cool.
Did you know that the piano was invented in Florence?
Scene 3: Three tiny cars, lunch with a view and a nap.
On our way back to the apartment we passed another incredibly ornate door.
And three tiny cars.
We were ready for lunch and decided just to grab a sandwich from the local deli and bring it up to our apartment.
This was definitely not “Subway”. These sandwiches were super tasty and fresh!
Back at the apartment we sat on our balcony and ate our sandwich with a side of red wine (of course).
After lunch, it was time for a nap.
Scene 4: A pizza and gelato cooking class and fun with liquid nitrogen.
After our nap, it was time to not just eat pizza again, but to learn how to properly make one.
We showed up to the Walkabout Tours office ready for our Pizza and Gelato Making Cooking class!
This class was super fun. We learned how to make the best pizza dough, tastiest pizzas, and flavorful gelato.
Did you know that you can use liquid nitrogen when creating gelato?
Scene 5: Sunrise over Florence and another travel day.
We woke up early enough to catch the sunrise over Florence. So pretty.
We went back to our favorite breakfast spot for another round of bacon, eggs, and cappuccinos. After breakfast, we returned to our apartment to pack our bags and make our way back to the train station.
Our Italian Adventure has a few more acts to go!
Next act? Rome!