Italy ~ Florence ~ Day 5

We left Rome for Florence on a rainy morning. It’s strange how Rome had left a ‘wet weather’ mark on me (before the trip, I have always imagine it will be ‘hot’). Adieu Rome, adieu Franklin hotel 🙂

Feeling sound? Did I mention music is the theme of Franklin Hotel? 🙂

News-stand. Drum-stand? 😛

We took a taxi to the train station to board the eurotrain to Florence. Found the process of buying the tickets kind of complicated – bought passes and reserved seats (and pay again!) before the trip, needed to validate each time we utilised one trip etc. Phew. Tips for Singaporeans: we realised that the local travel agency for Rail Europe is Dynasty Travel, so it might be easier to call and ask.

We got first-class seats which were not very different from the second-class seats or so it seemed. Haha. Anyway, we took some pictures on the train but none at the train station – we were feeling a bit lost and trying to figure out how the system works (this being our first ride in Italy) and also a bit anxious about watching our backs/bags (thanks to all the cautionary aka horror stories of theft that we heard from kind souls back home). Haha.

Portrait: Passenger 1

Portrait: Passenger 2

We get a free drink (choose from hot/cold beverages) and a sweet/savory. Newspapers are on the train too (but we could not read Italian :P)

My sweet (beetle) and travel notes (ill-prepared traveller so had to read up about Florence!)

Florence is small, compared to Rome. Most of everything were within walking distance from our hotel (Orto De Medici), a beautiful historic building with a courtyard and spacious rooms. Nice!

Orto De Medici - a historic building. Very nice hotel.

Walk-in wardrobe. Nice!

View from room: Courtyard 1

View from room: Courtyard 2

Our first stop was to the Florence’s Duomo (The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore). It was raining (I think) so we did not get a picture of the facade. The inside of the Duomo was surprisingly shivering cold but beautiful. Very gothic.


Not our usual clock

Work of art stained glass - a common feature is most cathedrals

There were many other works of art in the duomo - painting, afresco, sculptures etc

Afresco and the Dome

And off we went up to the Dome (one of the many domes/towers we were to conquer in Italy). A thought just came to my mind – what do you think about a vertical marathon in the Duomo? 😛

How high is the duomo? We had to get out of the duomo to ascend the dome.

View on the way up

Getting closer to the dome

The climb (no lifts) was not as easy as we thought.

But definitely an interesting experience. Cheers!

View from the dome - the Giotto's bell tower. Felt like overlooking a toyland in a storybook. But very COLD

We wanted to take a leisure stroll around the Duomo. It started raining again, so we decided to sit down for a cuppa.

Tips: In Italy, if you order a latte, you get milk. So always order caffe latte 😛

And then to dinner at Mimmo (opposite our hotel) – it was highly recommended by our hotel. Expensive authetic fare, which did not really went down well with us. Interesting experience though to watch the diners (mostly Italians, I think) around us.


Nice ambience

Like cold platter. Could not finish. I like the chicken liver, much to the dismay of ML and MQ 😛

Pasta filled with cheese. Rich.

Say cheese! 🙂

About cyndichan

Write for a living. Live for travel, run and art. Just back from the snow festival in Hokkaido!
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