Friday was the beginning of our trip to Florence and Arezzo.

It was a long drive, at least it seemed longer than it was since I’ve only been in moving vehicles for no more than fifteen minutes at a time lately. It was four hours there with two stops, one for snacks and one for lunch. We left around 9 and got there around 2. A brief rest and then we went on a walking tour through part of Florence.

Our Hotel was three minutes walk from the Duomo so that was fantastic. It was two minutes from one of the biggest daily markets, which was also pretty fun. The tours were incredible, like a condensed version of an art history class while looking at all the places where the art was made and at the actual art in all it’s glory. Michaelangelo’s David was magnetic. When we first went in to the Academia and into the hall at the end of which he stood no one could stop from looking over at him for more than three minutes. The tour guide was explaining the unfinished slaves that were on display as you were walking up to him, but no one could focus on what she was saying. They were incredible too, but could hardly be compared to David. I was going to try to get a Polaroid of him in there, but “no pictures allowed” and the Polaroid camera would have been too obvious had I tried to sneak one. I did get one of the copy in the outside Piazza della Signoria though and it looks pretty cool.

Then we got to see a lot of the older city along the Arno. The Arno was gorgeous, but very menacing once you know how much malevolence has been thrown into it and how terribly it can backlash.

The second tour was the next morning starting in the Piazza della Signoria and then going through the Galleria degli Uffizi to see more fantastic works. Among them, Botticelli’s the Birth of Venus and The Spring. No pictures again though, sad.

After the two tours the rest of our two days in Florence were ours to spend as we wanted. Mostly I did some exploring, sometimes with people, sometimes without. Saturday I went with a friend to the Santa Croce mausoleum, however she wanted to stop and shop for a little and we ended up getting there 5 minutes too late. I’m not going to lie, I was a little pissed off, but oh well . We had a fantastic walk anyway. We went to the other side of the Arno, saw Pitti Palace, and a few beautiful June brides. Couldn’t find the Hemingway caffe that I wanted to find, but got to see some crafts that we didn’t see in the more touristy parts. I went to a pub and had the whole-meeting-another-American-and-having-an-incredible-talk-
and-then-never-seeing-each-other-again experience. Her name was Danielle and she was hilarious and great. There’d been some roommate issues that night, and she just helped me put it into perspective completely. We had lots of laughs and then went our separate ways when the bar closed.

The next morning we took off for Arezzo, a small town in the hills south of Florence. This Sunday was the Antique fair, so I got some shopping done.

We did have a little tour of the town and then were given a couple of hours to eat and walk around. I ate the best meal of my life there. Porchetta with patates, a glass of house wine, and a plate of chocolate with specks of chile in them. The porchetta was tender and even the fat melted in your mouth like butter. It came with slices of marinated pork tenderloin, liver, and a little bite of crunchy savory roasted pork skin. The potatoes were perfectly seasoned. And the chocolate was just plain decadent.

I walked around alone after that and found a few antique things to take home with me. I’ll probably do a post with pictures of everything I buy at the end of my stay though.

Arezzo was gorgeous, even in the pouring rain, because it was all during our tour. However my little stroll was with a perfect light drizzle and tons of  happy local townspeople smiles. I will say though, my Arezzo was probably more inviting because I was wearing my boots instead of sandals like everyone else in our group.

That’s about it for right now, this morning we had a long walk for my Archeology class and I need to study for the exam we have in it tomorrow. Plus reading for the Nationalism class.

Pictures of Florence soon (although none of Arezzo because my batteries were out by that time).

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