Italy
Monticelli

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    • Day3

      Well, Ciao Pilgrim!

      June 22 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 91 °F

      After our walking tour in Florence (“Firenze” to us now), we felt we needed to do some more training for our hike, so we set out to discover a few historical landmarks. We found the Ponte Vecchio (which translates to “Old Bridge”), built in 1345 to cross the Arno River and is one of many engineering achievements in Florence from the Middle Ages. People still live in apartments on that bridge!

      We became a bit turned around and lost for an hour or so, but finally found the Basilica of Santa Croce, sometimes called, “the Mausoleum of Italy.” There were so many people dying to get in, that we felt lucky enough to skip the line and walk our Credenziale del Pellegrino (Pilgrim Credential/Passport for The Way of Saint Frances) up for our very first pilgrim stamp. We didn’t feel a thing… and only 35 more to go!

      We even fit in a little tour of Dante’s childhood home. And, that place was no joke! It was hell to get there. (That’s divine comedy, people!)

      After paying our respects at the tombs of Galileo Galilei, Machiavelli and Michelangelo, we left the cathedral ready to carbo-load today and hike tomorrow.

      p.s. If anyone reading this post is worried about our mapping skills (Travis, Jen R, our families, the citizens of Italy…), don’t worry! We are too.
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      Traveler

      Already got lost? 🤦‍♀️ #goodluck

      6/23/22Reply
      Traveler

      less than a day and already lost multiple times. Should we post your job positions just in case??

      6/23/22Reply
      Traveler

      Wait, people were dying to get into the mausoleum? Heh

      6/23/22Reply
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    • Day17

      Firenze, Uffizi Gallery & More

      June 18 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 86 °F

      Firenze (Florence) is an artistic, culinary and wine focused city. It feels more accessible than Rome or Venice. Like the other cities- there are many tourists but here you meet many more Italians. You hear them chatting with each other about politics and see them walking with their families and dogs.

      While we did not go wine tasting, we did test out the gelato. Kai is very particular about gelato. Gelato di Nature of Venice is in first place. The gelato of Firenze is in 2nd place. Alas, the gelato tested in Rome was inferior and of poor quality. Of course, we ate it anyway because it was hot outside and even poor gelato is cold.

      Our photos focus on the Uffizi Gallery. An amazing place that consumed most of our day.

      Tomorrow we return to Venice, collect are bags, rent a car and 🏎 (drive) to the Dolomites 😎.
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      Traveler

      Those are very famous paintings you have seen. I heard that Florence is very beautiful. You are covering a lot of ground! Love the pics of you and Kai. 🥰

      6/19/22Reply

      love it: [lauren]

      6/19/22Reply
      Traveler

      Firenze was my favorite, too! Gelato was important to my travels in Italy, too. I have a distinct memory of carefully selecting my gelato flavor of choice for the day somewhere in Italia: rose … and it was SO HORRIBLE! It tasted like air freshener. Such a let-down I remember it 40 years later. This is the potential impact of gelato on your life: nothing to be trivialized, for sure!

      6/20/22Reply
       
    • Day7

      Straßenmusik in Florenz

      September 19 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Gestern nochmal den ganzen Tag in Florence gewesen, shopping, lecker Essen und Straßenmusik.
      Zurück ist immer beschwerlich, trotz E-Bike ca. 450m Höhenunterschied auf kurzen wirklich steilen Bergen. Und kalt wird es jetzt abends...Read more

    • Day2

      Day 2, Part 1/3— Gucci Garden & Panini

      June 18 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 88 °F

      Today we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel. I mean, what’s better than an Italian “continental” breakfast? Delicious Bellini, charcuterie, fresh bread and pastries— divine! I actually also ate a salad, for health reasons. After breakfast, we walked to Ditta Artigianale, a coffee shop Matt has been talking about for months. He proceeded not to get anything, and then we walked over to Gucci Garden. https://www.gucci.com/it/it/st/stories/inspirat… Gucci Garden is an experience unique to Florence, where Gucci originated. There’s a cafe, a museum and a shop with exclusive items that aren’t sold anywhere else— including THE INTERNET. The museum was VERY cool, taking you behind the scenes of some of the most famous Gucci campaigns of the past 20 years. I found a bag I just HAD to have… see pics and you’ll understand!!

      Today was kind of a double lunch day. We headed over to SandwiChic to try some of Florence’s famous panini. https://m.facebook.com/sandwichic/ There are other places that have lines down the street, and I KNOW there are MANY great sandwiches in Florence but these were UNREAL. We got the salame and pecorino sandwich on “pane”, which is a flatter, almost cakey bread and the prosciutto cotto with truffle spread on the “schiacciata” which looks thick, like a focaccia, but is so light, it melts in your mouth. Nothing like the dense and chewy bread you’d expect from the visual. We walked around the back roads of Florence, dipping in and out of shops and grabbed some gelato at La Strega Nocciola. Yogurt flavor got a 10/10. https://www.lastreganocciola.it/
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      Traveler

      Loving all the photos and commentary!! Keep them coming. Glad your enjoying everything!! We love you B, B and G❤️

      6/18/22Reply
      Traveler

      B, B & G my favorite band!

      6/18/22Reply
      Traveler

      Ooh LOVE!!! 🤤🤤

      6/18/22Reply
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    • Day3

      Day 3, Part 2/3– Tuscany and Shopping

      June 19 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 93 °F

      After the winery, we took a quick stop in a beautiful Tuscan town called Panzano. There was a lovely open air market, cute shops and more wine. We stopped in an outpost of another Tuscan winery called Vecchie Terre Di Montefili and were treated to a tasting (which we paid for) by a lovely, middle-aged polish gentleman who is just doing a quick jaunt as a wine expert in Tuscany… must be nice! The wine was wonderful. Still ate no food. Again, not hungry since yesterday. Next we headed to the Mall Firenze, an outlet mall of only luxury designer stores. It *was* very cool to see these super intricate pieces up close and even try some on, but overall, I wouldn’t say it was my favorite shopping experience. Matt, however, bought several items, so I am happy about that. From the mall, we drove back into the city, approx 45 min. The drives were the best part of the day, with all the amazing Tuscan scenery. As most basic bitches are, I am totally obsessed with the whole cypress tree/villa situation. It’s so gorgeous. I will never tire of it.Read more

      Traveler

      Note to the author: I bought 3 ties and a T-shirt at a discount store not exactly a Full priced Gucci bag 🙄🙄

      6/19/22Reply
      Traveler

      Let me live!

      6/19/22Reply
      Traveler

      I think this is the third photo where Matt is carrying the Mrs. handbag. Lol

      6/21/22Reply
      Traveler

      It gets heavy!

      6/22/22Reply
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    • Day1

      Day 1, Part 1/3— Portait and Sostanza

      June 17 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 90 °F

      WE HAVE ARRIVED!! Once we got to Florence, we checked into our hotel, the Portrait, which is part of the Lungarno collection, owned by Ferragamo. https://www.lungarnocollection.com/portrait-fir… . The toilet paper and toilet brush are housed behind their own little doors in the bathroom. So chic! There’s also a tiny dishwasher, a fridge and a microwave in the room. It’s a whole *now you see it, now you don’t* kitchenette. I’m in love!!

      Immediately after check in, we headed to lunch at Trattoria Sostanza (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g… ) for salty Parma ham with sugar sweet melon, tortellini en brodo, butter chicken (lightly egg battered, cooked in brown butter and finished with lemon— sopping up that sauce with the bread… heaven!!!) and artichoke pie (swirly soft eggs with fresh braised artichoke hearts). It was both delightful and delicious. I did they ordering and it made our waiter highly uncomfortable, in this male dominated culture! He kept checking with Matt to make sure he was ok with everything I ordered and that we were indeed sharing.
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      Traveler

      You have not been married 10 years, right?

      6/18/22Reply
      Traveler

      Lol correct

      6/18/22Reply
      Traveler

      What is the right number?

      6/18/22Reply

      I think we’re going on five [Katie Rosen]

      6/18/22Reply
      Traveler

      It’s actually quite confusing w a NYE wedding

      6/18/22Reply
      Traveler

      Ha!!! Matt says he agrees!

      6/18/22Reply
       
    • Day14

      Firenze in a Flash

      September 7 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 86 °F

      Not enough time in this Renaissance city!
      We did it fast and furiously. Next time we’ll need at least 3 days… highlights were the David and climbing all the way to top of the Duomo and of course dinner at Ristaurante de Desco 🇮🇹❤️Read more

      Traveler

      So beautiful and you saw the David , amazing! Were those truffles smothering your dinner entree?

      Traveler

      Yes! Truffle heaven

      Traveler

      David the flasher

      Traveler

      Come on out to our house to see the best part of David...his head!

       
    • Day22

      Uffizi

      May 31 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Here is some pics from the Uffizi gallery (a week late sorry). We listened to a Rick Steves podcast during our walk around. By the end, our little Uffizi’s hurt.
      We saw Venus and Sara documented a cute photo of everyone taking photos of her- this scene is actually seen quite often, and sara has taken to taking even photos of me taking photos (she has quite the compilation now). I will try to find some to post. It’s a good thing I have find penguins to post these as I’m sure there are photos of everything I have taken photos of already on the internet. We did mostly just look around though.
      At the end I have also included another statue selfie for everyone xx
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      Traveler

      Super love the photos - good Venus shot

      6/10/22Reply
      Traveler

      Thank you :)

      6/18/22Reply
      Traveler

      We love Rick Steves!

      6/10/22Reply
      Traveler

      He does it best. 👍

      6/18/22Reply
       
    • Day13

      The Dome

      September 6 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 91 °F

      We drove to our hotel just blocks from the Duomo. This isn't the Metrodome. lol. 500+ steps to top. Short tour, then it was sweat-filled march that took about 15 min to reach the top.

      Some how our VW didn't match the sophisticated Dior shop.Read more

      Traveler

      Amazing fresco painting, oh my!

      Traveler

      Don’t hurt the VW’s feelings you may regret it 🥹

      Traveler

      Pretty impressive for 1400 something architecture and engineering, not to mention the builders and riggers! Brunelleschi.. a modern man. Great photos!!

      Traveler

      No scaffolding used!!

       
    • Day21

      Il Duomo

      May 30 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

      Welcome to Florence ⛲️🖤
      So we caught the train in the morning and got to our hostel, dropped our bags in their room because it wasn’t check in time yet and then went to get some lunch. We got focaccia’s and baby carrots from the Pam and ate them at a piazza.
      We checked into our hostel which we may or may not have accidentally booked for the 29th and 30th nights instead of our actual dates; the 30th and 31st. Oops. But it ended up being okay because the lady was really nice. We did book it while we were very jet-lagged so will try to not do that again.
      Then we walked really fast to the Duomo because that made us a bit late and we walked up the 400 and something stairs pretty fast and I mustered up the courage to ask the security guard to take a photo of us, who then told us he would take few so we could change poses 💅
      We then saw him later the next day when we went to get dinner. I hope he gets paid good.
      Sara took a few of me too but some came out a bit blurry. Maybe it was the stairs. The view was very pretty though. And the art inside the dome was very cool. The longer you stared at it the more weird some of the demons looked.
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      Traveler

      Wow that lady at the hostel sounds so nice

      6/8/22Reply
      Traveler

      I remember the duomo well, you ran up the stairs, doubt you did this time though,..,.

      6/8/22Reply
      Traveler

      We walked fast !

      6/18/22Reply
      7 more comments
       

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