Italy, Day 8: Palazzo Vecchio

Initially, we wanted to go to Uffizi but the line was already very long even before its opening hour. We decided to check Palazzo Vecchio and to our delight, there was no line at all. Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence and considered to be the city’s main symbol of civil power.

APRIL 19, 2019

Initially, we wanted to go to Uffizi but the line was already very long even before its opening hour. We decided to check PALAZZO VECCHIO and to our delight, there was no line at all.

Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence and considered to be the city’s main symbol of civil power.

There were a lot of Renaissance chambers, paintings, and sculptures to see even with just the first area in Palazzo Vecchio.

In a small corner of the room was Studiolo di Francesco I. There was a sign beside the entrance that access would be momentarily suspended during the Secret Passages tour, and that just made us regret it all the more that we did not know about the tour before going here.

We were able to spot the secret passage entrance that was cleverly hidden with a painting and the key camouflaging the color of the painting’s frame and wall.

The next part of our visit was seeing tons of rooms that were absolutely beautiful and magnificently decorated. We read that some of the rooms were even done by Michelangelo and Donatello.

It took us more than 2 hours to finish going around and in the last part of our visit, we found out that they had an exhibit set up to showcase some of Leonardo da Vinci’s works, letters, and sketches.

The last area we visited was the Hall of Maps, which showcased maps and Mappa Mundi, a 6-foot tall globe from centuries ago.

Italy, Day 5: Basilica di Santa Croce

From Naples, we took a 3-hour Trenitalia trip to reach Florence. Since we had time to kill before our Airbnb check-in, we left our luggage in the storage near the central station then headed for Basilica di Santa Croce (€8). The architecture of this church is a fine demonstration of Italian Gothic architecture.

APRIL 16, 2019

From Naples, we took a 3-hour Trenitalia trip to reach Florence. Since we had time to kill before our Airbnb check-in, we left our luggage in the storage near the central station then headed for BASILICA DI SANTA CROCE (€8). The architecture of this church is a fine demonstration of Italian Gothic architecture.

Many famous Italians are buried here such as Galileo Galilei, Dante Alighieri, Michelangelo, and Niccolò Machiavelli.

Niccolò Machiavelli’s monument being restored

After seeing the memorials of these icons, we went to other parts of the church and found more artworks.

We were not sure where to eat lunch afterwards so my sister checked out Google Maps and found this place called SOUL KITCHEN. She ordered carbonara while I got the fried chicken fillet. We set our expectations low because the place was famous as a bar so we were not sure how the food would fare… Man, we were totally blown away by their carbonara! Soul Kitchen had one of the best carbonara ever.

We checked in at our Airbnb and took a bit of a rest then my sister asked me to accompany her to buy a leather belt. She did a thorough research on where to buy authentic Florentine leather belt and she decided to go to Michelangelo’s store.

Initially, we thought his shop was closed that day but apparently the door was just locked. Michelangelo was really nice and talkative while we were there. He even offered that we could hang out the next time we’re back in Florence. My sister is very happy with her purchase plus she got a discount. We also got our tatay a leather wallet. Click here for his official website.

For dinner, we ate at PIZZERIA FIRENZE NOVA, which was just near our Airbnb. I ordered lobster pasta while my sister was spaghetti al ragu. It was okay but our experience was ruined by a rude staff. We were not finished with the parmesan cheese when he removed it from our table while eating. Initially, we thought another table needed it but we saw him place it inside a cabinet. He also kept on looking at our table. Maybe because we did not have any reservation and he wanted to kick us out ASAP?