877 steps to a brilliant view

The cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore.

Today, we woke up early (again!) to line up at 8:00 am for the climb up the steps to the cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore. Because of Rowan’s boundless energy, we practically ran up the 463 steps. By the time we got to the top, we were breathless and sweaty, but that did nothing to dispel the brilliance of the view. We looked out over all of Florence and the surrounding hills, and had fun picking out the landmarks we’d already seen, like the Pitti Palace and the Medici Chapel. The sun was shining and warm, the sky, a clear and perfect blue. The tourists from all over the world, were super kind, generous and friendly. We were all sharing this amazing experience and looking out together over this spectacular city – how could we do anything else but get along and help each other out?

Looking out over Florence towards the Medici Chapel.
Looking out over Florence towards the Medici Chapel.

After the long and sweaty climb down, our tickets gave us entry into the Baptistry, where we sat down and admired the marble mosaics on the floors and gilded paintings on the ceiling.

The beautiful gilded ceilings of the Santa Maria del Fiore Baptistry.
The beautiful gilded ceilings of the Santa Maria del Fiore Baptistry.

Itching to go climbing again, Rowan urged us over to the third entry our tickets allowed us – the bell tower. It was another 414 steps, but this time the climb is spread out over four stages, with rest stops along the way, which we took full advantage of! The view from the top is not as spectacular, as it’s not as high and the viewing platform is surrounded by a metal mesh screen, but we were still super glad we did it!

Looking down through the Santa Maria del Fiore Bell Tower.
Looking down through the Santa Maria del Fiore Bell Tower.

Afterward we stopped in a few toy shops we knew Rowan would enjoy, had a quick lunch and then headed home for a nap. We woke up in time to watch the last set of the Wimbledon women’s final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber at the brew pub. Rowan had a big smile on his face the whole time. We have a real tennis fan on our hands!

Rowan waiting somewhat patiently to go to dinner.
Rowan waiting somewhat patiently to go to dinner.

We sat in Piazza Della Signoria for one last time, before heading to Brac, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant someone recommended. Our meal was spectacular!!! If we had found the place earlier we would have been there every night to try something new.

But, alas, we leave beautiful Florence tomorrow afternoon. :(

Not before we try to fit in one more early morning expedition, however, this time to the Boboli Gardens. There’s just too much to see in this eternal city. Next time we have to stay longer!


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