This week's #ThrowBackThursday is Florence, Italy. Florence was the second city my sister & I stayed in during our Italy trip in May 2009. We stayed at Hotel Palazzo Ricasoli for 2 nights. This was the same hotel I stayed at when I was in Florence in 2007 on my high school senior trip. I loved the hotel and the location that we just booked the same place - it was walking distance from the Florence Cathedral.
Once we checked into our hotel we hopped on the train and headed to Pisa to visit the The Leaning Tower of Pisa. As my sister said, "I'm not leaving Italy without going to the Leaning Tower of Pisa!" Pisa is only an hour train ride away from Florence and honestly it is a must. We did it on our own - without a tour or anything - it's very easy. Once we arrived in Pisa we took the bus to the Leaning Tower. We didn't have a chance to go inside the leaning tower however we managed to explore the grounds and take typical tourist pictures!
Day 2 began with walking around Florence and just taking in the beautiful sites. First we went to the Uffizi Gallery, then to Boboli Gardens where we spent the majority of the day. The gardens are gorgeous and it's everything you expect from an Italian Garden.
After the gardens we went to Vivoli for some delicious gelato. Vivoli is known as one of the best gelato places in Florence - in my opinion the best in Italy! The flavors at Vivaoli vary since they pride themselves for serving flavors they have made that day - therefore flavors vary by season.
The last morning we visited the Florence Cathedral - also knows as Duomo. I've done the climb of the Florence dome before - all 463 stairs - and thankfully my sister was up for the early morning climb. The climb is intense because it varies from a spiral staircase, to slanted ceilings, to dark low ceiling rails - if you are claustrophobic I don't recommend the climb. The view from the top of dome is just stunning - you can see The Basilica di Santa Croce.
Check back next week for the last stop of my Italian trip - Milan! Happy Thursday!