Our 14th vacation day! We decided on the Hop On – Hop Off tour bus option, where we get on and off at 30 different points of interest. It turned out to be the perfect thing to do.
First stop – Piazzale Michelangelo. Beautiful panoramic views, replica of David and souvenir shopping for family. Listed as one of the best places to see Florence from above, it is “not just a perfect photo opportunity, but a moment of wonder. You are looking at the city that gave birth to incredible artists, amazing scientists and an enthralling history of discovery and power that has filled novels and movie theaters“. It certainly did not disappoint. Absolutely took my breath away.
Hopped back on the tour bus after a few hours and hopped off at the beginning of the bridge to begin the long walk to the Ponte Vecchio. “Built very close to the Roman crossing, the Ponte Vecchio, or Old Bridge, was the only bridge across the Arno in Florence until 1218. The current bridge was rebuilt after a flood in 1345. During World War II it was the only bridge across the Arno that the fleeing Germans did not destroy. Instead they blocked access by demolishing the medieval buildings on each side. On November 4, 1966, the bridge miraculously withstood the tremendous weight of water and silt when the Arno once again burst its banks.” The history is rich, but let us not ignore the world class shopping! And, thank goodness, because since we bought so many family gifts, we had to stop in a luggage shop and buy two more suitcases to carry them all home.
After perusing and purchasing our way through several blocks in the shopping district, we found the best gelato in the entire wide world … probably.
Half salted caramel and the other half the darkest chocolate ever known to man – er – woman. Then, the long walk over the bridge and down to the tour bus stop, wheeling our newly purchased luggage behind us. We were stopped before we could take one step to board the tour bus, “Nessun bagaglio è permesso sull’autobus. Devi aspettare l’autobus della città.” We could not bring the luggage on to the tour bus. We needed to await the city bus. And, so we did.
Barely had enough energy to walk from the bus stop to our home base. Joyfully exhausted.