Italian Honeymoon – Day 2 – Florence
I just about shot out of bed at 7am on Day 2 of our honeymoon. We had to be on a train at noon, which gave us mere hours to take a walk around the city to make it seem like we had actually visited. (This kind of regimented productivity was to be a common thread on our trip, and probably symptomatic of some kind of post-wedding PTSD.) The silver lining of this was that we seemingly beat jetlag for the first time ever going west–>east by actually doing what everyone seems to tell you to do: power through, go to bed at a normal time, and get up early.
So we got up and had “Italian breakfast” on the hotel’s terrace. Strolling out the french doors of our room, through the beautiful courtyard complete with trickling foundation to the breakfast room was one of the best parts of the Orto de Medici. Italian breakfast is as much sugar and caffeine as the human body can handle, plus a few meats and cheese if you’re lucky. It’s the perfect jump start to a power walk around Florence, even if it makes me shake like a leaf.
Thanks to the nearly deserted streets, we were able to take in the highlights we’d missed the evening before over the course of 2 hours–heading down past the Academmia (“Yep, that’s where the David is”), and “There’s the place my favorite Pumas are from” (Pando!), we hung a left through Piazza del Duomo (having covered Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizzi the night before), and headed over to Santa Croce, where the light at any time of day never fails to captivate me.
I pointed out Vivoli, and STILL couldn’t find that Mexican restaurant (if it’s still there?) or Danny Rock (I know that’s still there). We backtracked so I could be sure to show Scott the Bargello, as peeking through its glass walls was the closest thing to the inside of a museum we got.
We still had some time after heading back towards Via San Gallo through the Piazza della SS Annunziata (I rediscovered this, my favorite piazza in Florence, by complete accident), and the bus roundabout that is Piazza San Marco, so we headed over to San Lorenzo, where we marveled at how they set up the market every morning, just to tear it down every nite.
We were back at the hotel by 10am, and wishing we had much more time in Florence, we decided to walk to the stazione after checking out. It was a doable 20 minute walk, on which I got to point out more “hey this is where we” highlights, but boy had I forgotten how narrow and useless those Italian sidewalks are. We were far from the only tourists squeezing by with our suitcases though—which reminded me how glad I was to have been forced into our early morning walk. When you’re traveling at peak season, which late September apparently is now, early morning and late night can be the only time when cities retain their magic, rather than being as crowded as Disneyland—a point we had proven to us in Rome the following week.