We were in Florence from October 27 to October 30.

I absolutely loved Florence! From the architecture, to the food, to the shopping!!

My first night there, I walked on the famous bridge, Ponte Vecchio, and window shopped…the jewelry stores were pricey to say the least. Two of my students, Lianne and Katelyn spent three weeks in Florence last summer. They were the tour guides as Ben, Brandon, Nate, and I followed them around.

On October 28th we went to the Basilica of Santa Croce and October 29th we went to the Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore! I put these together because I didn’t think I would be so fascinated with the detail of these churches. Maybe because at home I went to church on Sunday and occasionally I would enjoy it, as a child I went to see friends and not to get the word. Don’t get my wrong, if I were to attend a service in one of these amazing churches, I may still be searching for friends instead of the word.

Similar to St. Peter’s Basilica, I went to the top of the tower and the dome with students, Katelyn, Lianne, Brandon, and Melissa. Getting to the top of the tower was easy, there were natural breaks in the journey so I could take pictures and catch my breath. Getting to the top of the dome wasn’t awful but the steps were two way so on the way down the journey the group had to awkwardly make our way past hot sweaty people who were making their way up.

I have to be honest, between getting to the top of the tower and the dome I had lunch. Lunch at Gusto Pizza and it was amazing but it also created a challenge getting my meat and cheese additions up to the top of the dome with me! Obviously, when we made our way back to the ground after checking out the view from the dome we went to have gelato from Edoardo Il Gelato Biologico. Go there if you are ever in Florence. I had the Red Wine Sorbet and Apple gelato…it was AMAZING!

Something I was very pleased with in Florence was the food! Not just Italian food either. On the way to the Basilica of Santa Croce we passed a Mexican restaurant, El Chico and a dim sum restaurant, Dim Sum. I ate with students at El Chico after leaving the basilica and it was so good…not the highest quality but having a beef taco, a chicken burrito, and a margarita (I couldn’t resist.), were just what I needed. The last night in Florence I ate at Dim Sum and I ate alone. Eating alone is new to me. I have done it a few times since I moved here. Luckily the restaurant had room for me but under one condition, I had to be out by 8:30PM because the table was reserved. I gladly skimmed over the menu and ordered spring rolls, jasmine rice, and vegetarian dumplings. I was in heaven!

The most memorable moments, besides the beauty of the city, would have to be the time with my students. Between getting lost, helping students bargain at the Mercato Centrale, or fighting with pigeons, Florence was so much fun and I would go back in a heart beat!

Originally published at leapoffaith.blogginger.com on November 6, 2015.

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