Hands down: The BEST gelato I've ever tasted. Oh, Crem Caramel, you're my best friend.
This gelato was so good that we tried to go back there every day of the rest of the trip and there was no trace of it to be found. Like it was a ghost-gelateria that popped up out of thin air to bestow its crem-caramely goodness on me and then POOF! Gone. (More likely they just closed for Pasqua - Easter - but it sounds more magical and mystical the other way.)
You're supposed to rub the pig for good luck or something. Well, I ain't want no bad luck so here we are rubbin' the pig.
Gah! The markets in Florence are something to behold. Floor to ceiling, leather goods, scarves, clothes, toys...
T-bagged again. This joke goes way back to our honeymoon. Jason took a photo of me in front of this very same statue back then and positioned it so that his junk was right on top of my head. Awesome. So, being the good sport that I am, I let him do one this time too.
Have some dignity, man! Cover thyself up!
Ooh, David! You sexy beast, you...
It's fun to set up fake shots of petty crime. Lemon thievery is a gateway crime. Next it's pomegranates and then it's all downhill from there.
I've got a thing for arches. It's kind of like my thing for bridges. Except I could never love arches like I love bridges.
Doors of the Duomo
My tour guide.
Well, this is a rather unfortunate state to be in for all of eternity, hmm? Puking non-stop. Could be worse I guess. I'll let each of you draw your own conclusions about what I'm not-so-subtly alluding to there...
End of giorno uno. Florence is like THE shopping capital of Europe. It's famous for lots of things - gold jewelry, stationery, scarves, shoes, leather gloves, etc. etc... Everywhere we turned there was something to spend our moneys on. Here's the first day's haul: Gold earrings from one of the shops on Ponte Vecchio, amaretto biscuits, a bottle of very good Barolo, a rose pushed on us at dinner, and some VERY nice thank you notes. They're actual hand-made paper and say "grazie" at the top in hand-set letterpress. Faaaaaan-cyyyyy! I can't wait for somebody to do something nice enough for me to send them one of these puppies. You know, like give me a kidney or some other vital organ...
Giorno Due begins with Santa Croce, a Franciscan church. Now, don't get me wrong - props to the Duomo and all - but I thought this church was way more interesting.
The fresoes were beautiful...
And behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy. And a very unflattering angle on my bum. (Seriously, how big does my rear look??? Forget it. Don't answer that.)
Michaelangelo is buried here, as is Galileo. (Which was actually rather controversial because the churches banned Galileo's teachings because they contradicted what the churches believed at that time... Until those crazy Franciscans were all "Hold on a minute. We think this guy may be onto something. We like him. He can be buried here when he kicks it. Big ups to Galileo! Pass the wine, bro!" Possibly the actual wording was different. I'm paraphrasing really...)
This is my "Leave me alone whilst I contemplate and appreciate Renaissance art, dude." face.
Inside the Baptistry. We nearly broke our necks trying to see the ceiling in here.
This is probably in the Top 10 ceilings I've seen in my lifetime. For ornateness, I give it 10 out of 10.
Hello Mr. Jesus.
I love the wee tiny cars in Europe. Italy seems to have the wee-est, tiniest of them all.
Thank you Lord for our daily gelato. Amen.
Yeah! What the stop sign said.
A motorcycle. Carved from wood. Useful? Perhaps not. Interesting? You bet.
I love it. The oldest English pub in Florence dates all the way back to 1982. Guess the whole "pub thing" didn't really catch on here like it did in England.
"Pleeeeeease let me in. Just for one pint of Bombardier. Pleeeeeease?"
Enjoying the afternoon view from our hotel room.
We hiked up the hill on the other side of the river for a picnic on Friday afternoon. You know, Florence should really have a chat with Budapest and consider buying into the whole "FUNicular" business. Rather helpful, that thing is... But the views were well worth the walk.
And our timing couldn't have been more perfect because on our way back down, we caught a view of the Ponte Vecchio at sunset.
And now presenting.... today's loot: a copy of Vogue Italia, a scarf/wrap, and a corkscrew (that one was a picnic necessity).
Giorno tre. Let's get this mo-fo started right. Gelato for breakfast!
Oh my Gawd. This is shaping up to be the best day ever. The Ferragamo shoe museum.
We weren't supposed to be taking pictures in here but we're bad-ass like that.
If you ever find yourself thinking "I wonder what Heather dreams about...", well first off, you're a freak. Because who would wonder what I dream about? Am I right? Nonetheless, if you do find yourself in this quandry, quander no more. This is it. A rainbow of shoes. I am but a simple girl...
While this may look like a jaunty alternative to tying the sweater around one's waist, it's really an attempt to cover up a chocolate gelato stain on his oxford. Clever!
Is this a joke?
Due gelati in uno giorno?!?! This IS the best day ever!
Why are all the door fixtures here enormous? Do they have a giant Home Depot somewhere that only sells giant stuff?
This was our favorite restaurant of the whole trip.
Some photos of the river on our walk home from dinner...
This was just a ruse to try to get a photo of the people at the next table. That bald guy is Michael Chiklis. You'll just have to take my word for it. He's on some show called "The Shield" I think.
Jason finally gets his Bombardier.
Today's treasure chest: a book from the Ferragamo museum and some Pinocchio watercolor paintings for our neices.
Ok, this is getting ridiculous.
Ok, Easter morning is...how do I say this...kind of a big freaking deal in Florence. There's this massive parade of people dressed in period costume, drumming drums, playing piccolos, doing choreographed flag routines... It's a bit like a Renaissance marching band. Then oxen in fancy dress haul in the 18th century carriage which is loaded with fireworks. Then there's quite a lot of dancing about with the flags. Then they light the carriage and it proceeds to explode non-stop for about half an hour. Needless to say, this draws in quite a crowd. Otherwise known as "Heather's Worst Nightmare". Check it:
However, being the clever one that I am, I look up and see an open table on a little balcony in a cafe and proceed to shove Jason over there to "Get that table! For God's sake, get that free table before someone else does!" We ask the hostess and she tells us that it costs 50.00 Euro just to sit at the table, on top of whatever you order. Worth it?
You bet your sweet fireworks it was! We felt like seeing this was one of those "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences and we wouldn't have been able to see anything in that crowd. Not to mention I would have been hyperventilating.
Me registering shock and awe at the oxen in fancy dress.
Here it goes! Wheeeeeee!
Not a big fan of the noise though...
"Don't cry for me Argentina..."
Ok, so here's where the bad memories flood back. Those were the last pictures we uploaded before the camera was stolen. But, we tried to make the best of a rotten situation and bought a piece of crap disposable camera and went back to Boboli Gardens on the last day to try to get some of our pictures back. All we lost really was Boboli Gardens and that night's dinner. So while we couldn't exactly re-create the previous evening's meal, we could go back to the gardens. Mind you, I was still crushed about our camera being stolen so many of these smiles are 100% fake.
I kept begging Jason not to make me do this one. I wasn't in the mood to be silly and my heart totally wasn't in it but he told me "You'll regret it later once the shock of this whole thing wears off" if we don't have this one.
Then we were off to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower before catching our flight back to London...
Here's where the digital camera would have really come in handy. I had this idea that it would be funny to make it look like Jason was trying with all his might to hold up the tower and then I would get up there and hold it up with just one finger. Well, the ones I took came out perfect. Jason, however, didn't quite get me lined up properly.
Not even close actually... I look like I'm either pointing at it or performing a rousing rendition of "I'm a Little Teapot".
This is why they invented digital cameras.
Good thing we took another one "just in case"...