It's official. I am in love with Italy. I knew from the beginning that I would like Italy but I had no idea that I would love it as much as I do.
Today I ventured to Florence, the art capital of Italy and cradle for the Renaissance era. I only had one night in Florence which is obviously not time to see all Florence has to offer. Still, I was determined to see as much of this gorgeous city as I could. The first stop was the leather markets. This stop was a great stop but a pricey one. Say hello to the new owner of a gorgeous Italian leather backpack! After the leather markets we visited the Piazza del Duomo to see the octagonal Baptistry. Unfortunately the bronze doors, created by Donatello and Rafael, have been moved to a museum for renovation purposes.
Following, a few girls and I got in line to see the David at the Galleria Accademia. The line was long and we did not reserve tickets ahead of time. I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to make it into the museum before closing time since we got in line so late. It looks like the "Art Gods" were looking down on me because my group was able to sneak into the last group before they closed the gallery to the public. I think they knew seeing Michelangelo's David would seriously be a life changing moment for me. My inner art geek was coming out during this moment. When Carly and I entered the museum we made sure to look at all the exhibits that lead to the David. We wanted to make sure to build the suspense before we went around the corner where the statue stands. Finally we rounded the corner and I saw my first glimpse of the David I literally grabbed Carly's arm and squeezed it as I gasped at how perfect the sculpture is. It's nerdy I know but I have studied this particular sculpture of Michelangelo so many times. It was such a surreal experience to finally see a work of art in person. The sculpture is literally perfect. Every detail of the veins and the muscle is unreal. It blows my mind to think that something so perfect came from an unwanted and abandoned piece of marble. Following our visit to the Galleria Accademia we met up with more friends for Italian pizza and pasta with gelato afterwards. I've had gelato a few times on this trip but the gelato from tonight was by far the best I have had.
To top off the night the group walked up to a beautiful look-out point to see the city of Florence at night. When we reached the top of the point I made sure to put down my camera and soak in the moment. Looking out at the city, hearing the Italian being spoken behind me and seeing my all of my friends laugh together. Really, it was like a scene from a movie. Sometimes I can't believe that this adventure is actually happening. I am having the time of my life, have made the best of friends and learning so much about the word around me. I couldn't ask for a more perfect experience.
So Italy, I wouldn't mind spending a few more days with you. What do ya say?
Today my bus driver ran into the sign at the convent we are staying at. I don't think the nuns were too happy about two things. The first being that the "H" on their sign fell off and the second that the bus driver swore when he backed into the sign! Yikes.