There is something about Florence that makes my heart sing. Somehow it feels like home, and I've only been there twice before.
I definitely recommend renting an apartment in the area we were in. Ours was right outside the old city gate and across the Arno away from the tourist-crowded city center. It's location had been attractive to me because I truly wanted to find a quiet spot in the bustling city. Peace of mind and a glass of wine were what I was after and luckily our apartment was right above a wine bar aptly named, Fuori Porta.
We took it easy that night, having arrived in the afternoon, and knowing that the next day would be jam packed with seeing the sights. We ventured downstairs to start the evening off with a glass of wine and some bruschetta. I think we all cried a little when we took that first bite. I remember Italian food, I daydream about it all the time. Or I thought I did. I instantly started drooling. It was pretty embarrassing, until I looked at Tim and he was salivating as well. It was something so simple, just toasted bread, soft cheese, pancetta, and a little bit of olive oil... but it was so good. We decided to take on the night Italian style and wandered the streets looking for a good place for dinner. We ended up at Yellow Bar because a friend had recommended their pizza. One point to Richard. It was another delicious find. We capped off our night with gelato from a place down the street from where we were staying. No complaints here.
The next morning, after a breakfast of fresh baguettes, pecorino cheese, and salami, we headed out the door intent on seeing as much as we could fit in the day. We climbed Bruneleschi's Duomo, went to the Bargello, had lunch at I Fratellini, saw Michelangelo's David at the Accademia, visited the Medici Chapels, wandered into the Bapistry of the Duomo, and crossed Ponte Vecchio. It was a full and fulfilling day.
That evening we went to Zeb, a restaurant that our host had told us about. It was a block from our apartment and we had made reservations earlier that day. I particularly enjoyed my pear and ricotta ravioli followed by stuffed zucchini. I enjoyed it a little too much, I was so full. We decided to take a walk up the hill after dinner to see Piazza Michelangelo where there is a beautiful vista of the city and a bronze copy of the David. We were all in a bit of a food coma, but the lights from across the river and the glowing Duomo woke us up and energized us once again.
We all walked home extremely full, tired, and excited for the next day in Florence.