Florence with our family :: Uffizi Museum, Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, and Duomo Climb

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(See Part I and Part II of our Florence trip.)

Days 4 and 5 in Florence were laid back; we had no schedule other than visiting the famous Uffizi Gallery of art on Tuesday morning. We hit a lot of highlights of Florence in these two days, but we mixed it up with plenty of napping, talking, and gelato. Definitely my favorite way to see a European city!

The young people (Elliott, Jess, Em, and I) also went out for dinner one night to a little enoteca around the corner from our apartment. We had an amazing time talking and trying various wines; photos from that evening are here and here.

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the Palazzo Vecchio as seen from the Uffizi

For our Uffizi Gallery tour, Elliott and I took Lena (free admission) and left Gil at home to nap with my parents. (Apparently the nap lasted only 5 minutes after we left, so thank you, Mom and Dad!) We used the notes in our amazing guidebook to do our own self-guided walking tour, which was a great way to capitalize on the main attractions of the museum.

Seeing The Birth of Venus and La Primavera by Boticelli were the highlights for me, but the museum has the best collection of Italian Renaissance artwork in the world, so there’s a lot more to enjoy. Definitely a must-see if you visit Florence!

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Looking out the window of the Uffizi at the Ponte Vecchio.

After we finished in the museum, we met up with our family for a quick self-guided tour of the Sante Croce Cathedral. Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, and Dante are a few of the famous men who are entombed in the cathedral. The grounds outside were equally magnificent!

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Isn’t my sister gorgeous?! “So pret-ty, like mod-del…”

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A break to enjoy some spring blooms outside the grocery store.

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We also visited the Pitti Palace, which is huge and magnificent, but is surpassed by the stunning Boboli Gardens behind it. We could have spent hours in those beautifully manicured spaces with the dazzling views of Florence and the Tuscan countryside!

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Amazing view of the Duomo Cathedral and the Palazzo Vecchio behind us.

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Touring is so much fun!

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Lena is in her happy place. Well, this or a bowl of cookie dough.

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Our favorite part was the vista at the very back of the Boboli Gardens.

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On the left, Lena is demonstrating her dance moves to Auntie Jess.

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Ready to climb Brunelleschi’s dome!

While the kids were napping that afternoon, everyone but my noble dad (thanks again, Pai!) climbed to the top of the dome of the Duomo, the main cathedral of Florence. I read a book about the construction of the dome before we came to Florence, so I was especially excited to see the interior and the view from the lantern.

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Brunelleschi’s dome is actually two domes — one inside the other — and we climbed between the two to get to the top.

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463 steps later…

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… it was so worth the climb!

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Peace out!

If all goes well, I’ll be back tomorrow with more photos… but tomorrow is also LENA’S THIRD BIRTHDAY, so no guarantees! She has requested a “raspberry cake,” and now this mama must turn that dream into reality. It’s more of a challenge than it sounds, because in my 2.5 years in Sicily I have not seen one fresh raspberry…!

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