After spending the morning in Pisa; we arrived in Florence with about four hours of daylight left ( a downside of winter travel).  First stop, food; we found a lovely spot by Mercato Centrale called Vecchio Mercato.  The food was excellent and I am still in search for the house wine - Grannie chianti (If you have any tips - I am all ears). It was an excellent wine. Now that we were fully fed, it was time to explore Florence.

Before leaving Rome, we each picked one thing we wanted to see in Florence due to our time constraints. We started at the leather goods market. Florence is known for leather goods and "B" really wanted to pick up something. Unfortunately, she could not make up her mind and no leather goods were purchased, but we stumbled on a scarf shop where we haggled and bargained for great deals on scarfs for Christmas presents back home. Next, the Duomo.

The intricate detail of the exterior design and the size of the Duomo is breathtaking. We walked around the Duomo, first before heading in to explore the interior. In my opinion, the exterior is what sets this cathedral aside.  We did not get a chance to explore the interior, it was crowded, and parts were closed off for mass.  

Next, we walked down one of the side streets from the Duomo to arrive at Piazza Della Repubblica where we were entertained by street art, dance performances and musicians. It was a bit cold out and although the sweets at Gilli caught our attention, we opted for hot chocolate from Vendii (best idea ever). 

Right off our sugar high, we moved on to Piazza Della Signoria. This L-Shaped square has impressive architectural details that made my heart sing (I am obsessed with architecture).  We were running short on time and could not linger at Piazza Della Signoria. There was still Palazzo Vecchio (the town hall) - this is where you will find a copy of Michel Angelo's David statue. We walked around the courtyard admiring the intricate details that make the Palazzo a favorite part of our visit to Florence.

We stumbled on the Gucci museum. Who knew there was such a place. I was willing to shell out the entry fee of six euros to explore the home of Gucci designs, sketches, and collection from the beginning of time, but time was not in our favor. I made a mental note to return on my next trip to Italy (and Florence).  We walked back to Piazza Della Repubblica for one last look before heading back to the train station for our ride to Rome. 

See you again Florence !