Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day Three in Italy!

Happy Early Thanksgiving Everyone!!! Since I'm in retail and I will be working 9 hour days all weekend, I am wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving now and I will not be posting again until Tuesday. Pray for me this weekend if you have the time. Retail is a hard job on a normal day, I can only imagine how difficult it will be with tired, cranky customers all out trying to get the best deal. UGH!

Anyhow, onto Day Three in Italy. After our 1 1/2 day rest to recover from jet lag, and the fact that this time we left the shutters to our windows open so we would awaken with the daylight, we were off to our first full day of sight-seeing. We took a city bus to the Centre of Florence. It was fun riding a foreign bus and seeing how the local citizens live their typical day.

Once we got off the main bus line and walked deeper into the city center, I started to get all chocked up and had to fight back tears as I walked the city streets. I just couldn't believe I was here! Me, in Florence, Italy! Everywhere I looked, the view was just amazing...the endless, endless, endless, archaic buildings never ended. And they were all so perfect...I just couldn't believe it was real. I felt I was walking in a movie set. The main attraction of the City Center of Florence is this grand cathedral called the S.Maria del Firoe. That's me in the picture below standing in front of just part of this majestic building. The Cathedral was probably the most beautiful church I've ever seen in my life. It looked just like the cathedral in the Disney animated film 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' fact the whole center looked that way. All the roads are paved in stone, and the colors, the beautiful Tuscan colors, made me just want to cry they just blended together so harmoniously. As we walked, every time I thought I could not possibly see anything more beautiful, I saw something more beautiful. I experienced walking in a market for the first time in my life. There were hundreds, and hundreds of tents filled with vendors all vying for my attention to buy food, leather goods, scarves, and other souvenirs. The merchants are all very nice to you because they want you to buy their goods, but the illegal merchants, the ones who do not rent space but steal things and then to to sell them, are very aggressive as you walk by. They practically beg you to buy their goods, they shake them in your face, and are so annoying. These merchants were all on a bridge above the Arno River.

Here are my friends Pam and Anny looking at some slippers for sale.

This is picture of the Piazza in Florence.

Here is an example of how narrow some of the city streets are. And yes, a car would drive down that street.

Isn't this a gorgeous piece of architecture? Anny told me at one time the entire city of Florence was surrounded by a wall. Today only pieces of that wall remain.

Isn't this amazing? I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it appears to be some type of guard tower the soldiers probably used to watch for enemies outside the city walls. I just can't believe how old these buildings are...and they are still intact!!! They don't build things like they used to that's for sure! LOL!

Another narrow road. Italy is sure a wonderful place for photographers to visit. The opportunity for great photographs is abundant! I took over 500 photographs during my visit to Italy and paid over $100.00 to get all the pictures developed. I was constantly stopping to shoot an interesting window, a mossy stone path, a couple holding hands, interesting architecture, etc. etc. etc. It was a photographer's dream!

This is a narrow gateway that leads to the bridge over the Arno River.

And here is the Arno River. The picture in my header is also of the Arno River. This was one of my favorite scenes to photograph, and a scene Florence is famous for. I only wish it wasn't such a dark, cloudy day on our visit, it kind of ruined al ot of my photographs.

This is the Medici Palace. I never got to go inside because the people I went with did not want to. Unfortunately when one travels with others, one has to compromise and do things they want to do and not be able to do things one wants to do. But it was probably the greatest disappointment of my trip that I did not see the inside of this palace. When I told my friends at work that I couldn't go inside (who both went to Florence, Italy themselves), they were shocked in disbelief. They said I really missed out. I feel sad about that.

Just to give you a sense of how grand this palace is, these are the stones at the base of the palace. Have you ever seen any stones this large before?

Here is another view of the beautiful Arno River, bridge, and city of Florence.

And finally, another gorgeous, narrow street to stroll on in Florence.

By the end of the day, we were exhausted from walking and headed back home. After we rested a bit we went to an authentic pizzeria for dinner. It was such a sweet place. Pam and I ordered a white pizza with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. It had a super thin crust. I fell in love with it, and my love for Italian Pizza only grew as the week went on. LOL! We also ordered an appetizer of Brushetta. It was basically three pieces of Brushetta (a hard toast) each with a different topping. One had sauteed mushrooms, one had beans, and I think one had some type of tomato on it. It was all so delicious and wonderful. You will hear me talk a lot about the food I ate on my trip as the days go on, for Italy was quite the culinary experience.
Have a great Thanksgiving Weekend. Amy


  1. What beautiful pictures! The beauty in real life must have been breath taking. So happy you had a wonderful trip. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Wow what an incredible place. I love all the wonderful pictures you are showing us.. I am praying for happy customers and good retail days.. Happy Thanksgiving Amy.

  3. Awesome...thanks for sharing some of your vacation with us!

  4. Hi Amy, I love reading everything about your trip and love seeing those gorgeous gorgeous pictures. Makes me wonder how on earth I could have left Europe behind.LOL. Germany was all surrounded by those kind of walls too, and they rebuilt a lot of them after WW2. The funny thing is, one never realizes how beautiful it is where they live until they don't live there anymore.


  5. Sounds like you deserved some pizza after all that walking around. Such a shame that you couldn't talk your friends into going into the building. Well, maybe on your next trip! The age of the buildings was one of the things that astounded me on my trip to Europe. We stayed at a hostel in a building that was built in 1192.


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love feedback from my readers. If you have a blog, I always return the love by visiting within a week whoever leaves a comment.