I have to admit something.
I've lived in Florence for more than ten months, and up until two weeks ago, there were quite a few "attractions" that I had never experienced, like going inside the Cathedral at the Duomo. I walk past it everyday and stare at it for hours at a time as I sit in Astor Cafe, working on my computer and meeting with friends. But whether it be because I always knew I had time to get to it or because I didn't feel like spending the money, I just never made it in there.
Then my friend Brett came to visit, all the way from New York. He's heard me time and time again say how in love I am with this city and how beautiful it is... so during his week-long stay here, I knew I had to put on my tour guide hat and show him the best of Florence. It also gave me an excuse to do some Firenze activities that I've been dragging my feet to do, including climbing to the top of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore... commonly known as the Duomo. So on one of our "touristy" days, we did just that.
Having a roommate who sells the "fast passes" for the usually-60-minutes-or-longer line was especially helpful on this day, as we were able to pass the other tourists and get inside within minutes.
The best part about the walk through the cathedral is being able to climb to the top of the Duomo, to where there is one of the most amazing views of Florence.
After we took some pictures and admired the scenery, the skies looked like they were about to open up on us...
The side of the cathedral, where I walk past every single day.
On our way to Piazza Signoria
After attempting to get into the Uffizi Gallery without a reservation -- which was a complete fail-- we walked towards the Ponte Vecchio and took some amazing photos. The weather was absolutely perfect at this point-- the sun had come out and it was the perfect temperature.
Side view of the Ponte Vecchio
Blue skies and lots of gold jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio
Later in the evening, I brought Brett to my favorite (free) place in Florence-- Piazzale Michaelangelo-- to watch the sunset. We of course brought some wine and paninis...
If you're looking for a place to see the best views of Florence and to watch the sunrise or sunset, this is the place. It's only about a 20 minute walk (hike) from the Ponte Vecchio and doesn't cost a dime.
Next on the blog-- the rest of Brett's visit, including a trip to Siena!