After spending the first half of the day in Pisa, we reached Florence by 2pm and were so ready for lunch. With our hungry stomachs, we searched high and low for one of the restaurants that had good Yelp reviews. There was a short wait time, but we were okay with that. All we needed was a good meal.
Anything that we wanted from the menu was unavailable. I was beginning to get annoyed and wanted to walk to a different restaurant, but honestly I had no energy to do so. I settled upon Pasta Pomodoro and my husband ordered a dish that I don’t recall. Unfortunately, both the dishes turned out to be middling. “Well, we’ll compensate for it by having a good dinner” is what we told ourselves. Oh boy, that was so wrong.
Anyway, after lunch we walked to the esteemed Uffizi Gallery. Like any other art gallery in Italy, this place was thronged with people waiting outside in a long line. Luckily, Firenze card came to our rescue and we bypassed the long lines. The Uffizi Gallery hosts the greatest art collections of Michelangelo, Raphael, Giotto, Leonardo, etc. The gallery is so big and the art collection is so vast that one could easily spend at least two hours inside. There were times when I saw myself spending a lot of time just admiring the intricate details in selective pictures. Unfortunately, no photography is not permitted inside the Uffizi Gallery.
From Uffizi Gallery we walked to Piazza della Signoria, which hosts a replica of the David statue and several other popular statues. The impressive Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence also sits here overlooking Piazza della Signoria.
Just a block or two away from the Piazza della Signoria is the Arno river from where we captured beautiful pictures of the popular Ponte Vecchio bridge.
It is hard to believe that the Ponte Vecchio bridge spanning the Arno river was once occupied by butchers. It is now thronged with people and shops selling expensive jewelry, souvenirs, art work, etc. The vibrant bridge certainly captures one’s attention and we enjoyed the happy vibe on this bridge.
We walked across the Ponte Vecchio bridge to Pitti Palace. On the way, we grabbed canoli and other goodies from the bakeries. Unfortunately, the Pitti Palace was closed by the time we reached there late in the evening.
My husband wanted to go to Fort Belvedere to see a panoramic view of Florence. It was a steep, 1+ kilometer walk (following the metric system in Italia) from Pitti Palace. After my hike in Cinque Terre, I was down with a cold and was way too tired to go on another steep hike, though it was just a kilometer or so. “But hey, I don’t know when I will have the chance to visit Italy the next time, let me do it” is what I thought to myself and did walk all the way to Fort Belvedere. My ill luck, it was closed. I was totally bummed out and needed food.
Gusto pizza came out as highly recommended by Yelpers and it was near the Pitti Palace. So we walked all the way back to Gusto Pizza. The pizza joint was heavily crowded. The moment I didn’t see locals inside this joint and just a bunch of tourists, I should have simply walked away without a second thought, but I didn’t. After waiting in a line, we ordered one of their popular pizzas. The pizza turned out to be a complete dud. Over the time we learned that restaurants that are flocked with tourists don’t necessarily offer the most authentic food. With that, we called it a day and went back to our hotel.