Oh, this city! What a wonderful time we all had soaking in the beauty, history, and glory of Florence. I knew I’d love it — everyone told me it would be my favorite Italian city so far — but it was made so much more wonderful that I got to share it with my parents, sister, and sister-in-law. Thank you again for coming, family!
After we got back from Pisa, I put the kids down for their naps, and then my mom and I headed out to see a few more sights in Florence. We slipped into the magnificent Baptistry (above), admired the facade of the Duomo again (below), and saw the famous bronze Baptistry doors in the museum.
I studied all these things with my mom when our classical homeschooling curriculum included Architecture in 8th Grade, so it felt like we came full circle!
That evening Jess, Elliott, and I took the kids up to the Piazzale Michelangelo to watch the sun set over Florence. It was only a 10-minute walk from our apartment, so we had visited frequently during that week. This time I wish I hadn’t come, though, because my phone got stolen… probably right as Jess took the photo below. Sigh.
The next day I still felt pretty down in the dumps, so Jess and Elliott suggested we go on a walk and find some lunch. (My sister was working on her thesis… we missed you, Em!) We headed up into the hills behind our apartment, hiking quickly out of the noise and bustle of the city and into peaceful, spacious neighborhoods that felt more like quintessential Tuscany.
Eventually we stopped at a restaurant that Jess had found, and we discovered an outdoor terrace with views of the valley behind the Boboli Gardens. Birdsong filled the air, and daffodils bloomed nearby.
We ordered a hot seafood appetizer and a whole baked fish, sipped house wine, and dipped fresh bread in olive oil and vinegar. It was glorious.
After a little more wandering around the hills, we headed home to meet up with our family for our evening plans: to ride the carousel!
“Which horse do you want to ride, Lena?”
Practicing her queen’s wave.
After their ride, Lena was unwrapping a piece of candy that the man in the carousel ticket box had given her. Gil saw what she was doing and planted himself patiently next to her, hand on her sleeve, waiting for his half of the treat.
Looking for artwork to take home.
We wandered slowly back to our apartment, savoring our last walk through Florence together. We stopped to listen to street musicians, shop for scarves and leather purses, and get one last glimpse of famous Florentine art and architecture.
And that was Florence! That night Elliott, Em, and I walked Jess to the train station, and the next morning the rest of us began our own journeys home. Thank you for coming, family! So many memories to last a lifetime.