Florence Year Abroad – Settemane Due e Tre – Markets, Stunning Views and Collapsing Ceiling

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Ciao a tutti!

So I thought I’d merge week two and three since I’ll never catch up! We had some guests stay over from the UK throughout these weeks, so we transformed into proper tourists and walked around to our hearts content…or what our feet could take!

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Mercato di San Lorenzo

Before our guests arrived Millie and I wondered down to the Mercato Di San Lorenzo since fruit and veg in the local supermarket is pretty pricey, we were hoping for some bargains! The market was about 8 minute walk from our house, very close to the Santa Maria Cathedral, which was pretty convenient! There’s pretty much everything you can ask for in the San Lorenzo Market, from cheeses to meats to wine to pineapples, and all pretty good price too!! In fact, the meat is pretty darn cheap! We bought four Tuscan sausages for only €1.70!!! We went a bit wild but all in all we definitely saved a lot of money!! It was so difficult choosing which salami and cheeses to buy since there was just so much choice!! Nevertheless, when we returned for some more amazing foods, we went to my personal favourite stall – full of meats, we paid for our salami and forgot to pick up the actual salami. Absolutely gutted. Millie thought I picked it up and I thought she did, so the moral of that story is, always pick up your purchases!! So we went home, with one less salami. I was so looking forward to it as well!! If you’re in Florence, I would definitely make the time to go and have a nose around the San Lorenzo Market! If you go upstairs, there is a little food hall which is equally as lovely! The opening times are : Mon – Fri 7:00 – 14:00, Sat 7:00 – 17:00, Sun (& Holidays) Closed.

Bardini and Boboli Gardens 

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On the Monday after the market, Millie and I headed off to Fort di Belvedere (where Kimye got married), to see the views of Florence and to have a nose around the site. It is about a 25 minute walk from the center and the latter half being pretty vertical! We eventually got there, feeling like our legs were going to fall off and just our luck, the bloody thing was closed!! Fort de Belvedere is closed on Mondays. THE ONLY DAY OF THE WEEK IT’S CLOSED!! After trying not to shed a few tears, we headed back down the the center. However we stumbled upon the Bardini Gardens which was literally 2 minutes from Fort di Belvedere. So we though we might as well have a tour around the Gardens whilst we were there!! It was beautiful and had some stunning views of Florence. The Bardini Gardens have been restored various times, originally in 1700 was filled with fountains with mosaics, in the 19th century it was enlarged and edited to exemplify the Victorian style. Now, with the entrance still being the Mozzi Villa, it had regained it original composure and classical image. It was €5 entry, with valid ID. We sat down on one of the benches in the gardens which overlooked the city, which was beautiful. Just sitting there made us feel pretty in awe of the city and couldn’t quite believe this was our home for the year.IMG_1388

A couple days after, Natalie, her friend Clem and myself went all out tourist and purchased a City Bus Tour ticket (€20) which stopped at various locations. I would definitely recommend the bus tour as it’s a quick way too see all the vital sites on both sides of the river. We stopped off at the Boboli Gardens, which connected to Fort di Belvedere. This garden was significantly larger that Bardini, with less views of Florence. Nevertheless, it is still beautiful with many examples of history and enables you to feel as if you’re living in the Medici era! It cost €10 entry.

Piazzale di Michelangelo 

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If you’re in Florence for a day, you must come to Piazzale di Michelangelo (after the market), the views are incredible!! This is definitely the best place for that Kodak! There’s not many places to eat there, however on the way up/down there are various restaurants. Whilst you’re there you can have a wonder to the Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte, which is a beautiful little Basilica. It is said that if you are around Piazzale di Michelangelo at about 17:00 you can hear the monks in prayer. Piazzale di Michelangelo is about 25 minute walk from the center, with a few dozen steps and hills! But it is totally worth it!!! It has a bronze replica of the famous David sculpture, which overlooks the gorgeous Florence skyline.

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On Top of the World – Climbing Up The Dome

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On theNikes went and up the Dome we went! 463 steps and many small corridors later, we were there. The journey up wasn’t too bad, theCovent Garden station steps in London seemed a lot worse! Despite the stereotypical Italian organisation of controlling those going up and those going down, the climb went pretty smoothly!! Although if you’re seriously claustrophobic I would probably give this a miss. One you’re at the top you get a complete 360 of the city. It’s absolutely beautiful. It was €10 to climb up the dome but the ticket also included everything else relative to the Santa Maria Cathedral.  On the hike (literally) up and down you get the chance to be up close and personal to the beautiful frescos on the dome, which was started by Giorgio Vasari in 1572 and completed by Federico Zuccari. It’s truly stunning.

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I shall end it here, for now! Don’t say I didn’t warn you how touristy we were! I’m pretty sure I walked off the biscotti, pasta and pizza I have been scoffing!! It’s just too good – trying not to be too stereotypical…

Weather Warning and Collapsing Supermarkets!!

On our way back from another attempt to enrol at the University (all will be told in the next blog post), the weather seemed to have changed a tad…goodbye beautiful blue skies and hello bloody huge black clouds and winds. A storrrrm was brewin’. Literally. We popped into our local supermarket to grab some essentials when all of a sudden, a sound which I could describe as dropping a sh*t load of marbles on a glass table…Everyone seemed to become rather concerned about such a noise, when an employer opened the back door of the store….it was literally pouring it down with HUGE hailstones!! About the size of a Malteaser! HUGE!!! Seconds after this, the squares of the ceiling started to collapse, followed by pouring water! I felt like I was in Universal Studios Backlot tour!!! It was insane!! All I wanted was cereal too. Gutted. But lets just say, when it storms in Florence, it really bloody storms!10592672_10152476857079011_7737138903379447282_n

Follow my blog to keep up to date on all things Florence Year Abroad! Would be lovely to hear your experiences and recommendations! I will be updating you all on Sunday on this weeks (very stressful – Uni enrolment!!) adventures!

A presto!

Alice xx

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