We have now been in Italy for about 20 days and it just keeps getting better. After our 9 days in Florence, we decided it is one of our favorite cities. I am beginning to run out of adjectives to describe these places besides the fact that this country is just flat out gorgeous and delicious, and everyone needs to come here at least once in their life, especially to the Tuscany region. For the first part of our trip we were busy little bees visiting and touring as much as we could. We had to use our time wisely in the places that were a little more costly, but Florence has given us a change of pace and we have transitioned so well…eating dinner late, sleeping in, croissants for breakfast, drinking coffee & eating gelato on the regular…we are so European. Momma told me to blend in. 😉
With that said, we spent most of our days just wandering around Florence taking in the breathtaking views of this former Renaissance town. I thought Notre Dame in Paris was the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen, but I believe the cathedral, Duomo di Firenze has taken the lead. With its marble facade, over 4 million bricks in the 150 foot wide dome, and massive tower, we had no problem staring at it and all of the other beautiful towers, churches, and adorableness of Florence every day.
And of course we have continued to eat our way through Europe. We have had gelato more days than not, so I consider this a win-win situation. We have also continued the pizza/pasta trend, but have also adventured out a little and “done as the Florentines do.” I am usually up for an adventure except for when it comes to food. I know what I like and leave it at that. Jared’s philosophy is unfortunately slightly different and has for some reason been really inspired by one of Anthony Bourdain’s quote that says something like “good food and good eating are about risks.” Well, risks are what we’ve taken. Risks of dying from eating raw meat that is! Don’t let this whole “Florentine steak” thing trick you. Sure it looks and smells absolutely delicious, and you think it will be authentic when your waiter asks if you want it cooked the “normal” way. Unsure of this “normal” way, Whitney shouted out “medium” just incase. Lies. Straight up lies. That steak was the farthest thing from medium. They eat raw meat around here people! And apparently so does my husband. They don’t just eat raw steak, but raw pork! Whitney and I had a girls day and went to a cooking class where we learned that eating raw pork sausage on bread is a traditional appetizer for the locals and that they eat lampredotto (cow’s stomach). Actually, they eat EVERY part of the cow. None of us ate raw pork, that’s a bit extreme, but I did make Jared’s heart extremely happy and ate a lampredotto sandwich with him. Believe it or not, it was really good!
Besides the beautiful city center and yummy food, the real reason we both fell in love with the Tuscany region is because of this…
Rolling hills and mountains are kind of our thing, so Jared and I rented a car for 2 days to explore God’s artwork. If you ever come to this region, you must get a car. And to make it even better, you should get a car like ours…
We rocked that Smart Car! We had so much fun and Jared fit. In addition to having fun in the go-cart and soaking up the views of endless vineyards and olive trees, we stumbled upon some medieval towns. This has to be our favorite part of traveling: Coming across things you never expected and will most likely never see again. All of the towns have their own flag and shields. Then within each little city, each section or ward as they call it, has their own flag and shield. Some towns still have horse races between the wards and some towns even have a wall still surrounding them.
That was our time in Florence and although we were sad to leave, Cinque Terre will not be a shabby way to spend the next few days. Here’s a sneak peek in to our next adventure.
I believe this ‘little’ town will be perfect; however, Jared might disagree with it’s quaintness. 😉