After our quick view of Florence yesterday we headed back in today with a plan for a walking tour of Florence. It is another beautiful Indian Summer day, low 70’s and sunny.
Florence is beautiful and an easy city to walk around in. We hit all of the tourist highlights. Because of the weather the city was teeming with people, but everyone seemed in a good mood. We had thought of visiting the inside of the Cathedral but when we arrived the line was far too long so we moved on.
Our next stop was the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge). We had gone by yesterday to get some photos but Ton was not happy with the results so she wanted a reshoot. (She is turning into a real professional.) After getting some good shots we headed up hill on the far side of the river. It was much quieter and we really enjoyed walking thru some interesting but less busy neighborhoods. We headed up to the Piazzo Michaelangelo where we had a great view of the city. On the way up we made a short detour into a very beautiful rose garden that we both enjoyed.
Our next stop was the Florence Market which is always a highlight for Ton in every city. The Florence Market did not disappoint, we wandered from stand to stand for a good hour, and ended up with spices, pasta, and a kilo of parmesan cheese which we have optimistically vacuum packed, but I suspect will not make it home. The upstairs of the market is a food court unlike any we have ever seen. There are 50 or more food stands with an eclectic mix of Italian and non-Italian foods. We were tempted but had two restaurants we wanted to check out for lunch.
The first restaurant was right outside of the market but when we got there it was clear we were not the only one who had selected this restaurant. The other restaurant on the list was a 20 minute walk away but when we got there it had already closed for lunch. Now we were really hungry, we discussed going back to the food court at the market but neither one of us wanted to double back.
As we were walking down the street Ton saw a place offering a two course meal with wine for €10. It seemed too good to be true, and I was skeptical but Ton talked me into it and it turned into one of our best meals in Europe. There were 6 choices for the pasta plate, and 6 choices for the meat plate. We each picked different ones and shared and they were all good. It also came with a carafe of wine that was a solid Tuscan. In the end for €10 we had a memorable meal.
When we finished our meal we both had gone into a food coma, so we decided to head back to the Hilton for the day.