Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Florence: World's Best Ravioli

There's nothing that delights me more than spending time with my family. 

Having my parents visit me here in Italy has filled me with more joy than I can even say. After a worrying delay during the "storm" in Newark, my parents arrived mid-afternoon on Friday. I say "storm" in a sarcastic and contemptuous tone because, as a Rochestarian, snow doesn't count if you can see the road in front of you; what you call a blizzard I call your average Thursday. End of condescending rant.

Il Duomo- the Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore
I was pretty skeptical that we would travel that weekend, though my parents were dying to take a trip to Switzerland. I assumed that the jet lag would hold them back, but they've proved me wrong! We did change our minds from Switzerland to Venice before finally deciding to take a trip to Florence. As anyone who has traveled with me, toured around a city with me, or asked directions from me can tell you, I have absolutely no sense of direction. It was fun to be the one to actually know where I was going, and I'm pleased to report that I managed to get my family and I from Opera to Centrale Train Station to Florence in one piece!

First Stop: Food. 

Florence was incredible to the point where it seemed unreal. Milan has been all rain and cold these last few months, while in Florence there wasn't a cloud to be seen. After checking into one of the most charming and elegant hotels I've ever stayed in, we set off to explore the city. Every turn we took led to another jaw-dropping view. Every meal was the best we'd ever tasted. I'm not even exaggerating when I say that my ravioli in truffle sauce was probably the most delicious thing I've ever tasted. That cheese... Oh my gosh... I'm drooling as I sit here...

Gorgeous canal we stumbled on happened to be Ponte Vecchio

Anyways, we couldn't stop comparing Florence to Disney World. 

It was too beautiful to be real and seemed like it must staged like a beautiful and picturesque little street in Disney. Obviously that wasn't the case. Florence is authentically magical. We spent most of Saturday just walking around and more than once stumbled across a breathtaking piazza, cathedral, or bell tower. If you looked off to the sides of the main streets, every little alley looked so inviting. It wasn't just the streets that curved, it was the buildings themselves. Every window contained an overflowing flower box or delicate lace curtains. Even the bricks were beautiful! Occasionally one of us would look behind us and have to stop the others to look back on what we were walking through. 

My parents... awwwww

I know that some may find history or sightseeing dull, but thinking about what has happened in a given location throughout time absolutely fascinates me. 

I love museums, castles, cathedrals... imagining what happened within those walls gives me goosebumps! So to be in the city that inspired Michelangelo was beyond exhilarating. I've seen the Sistine Chapel and was blown away, and now the David... The fact that any person had that much talent is just unfathomable to me. With his sculpture, we couldn't stop focusing on the hands; you could see every vein and each tendon, as if it were a living hand just frozen in place.

As my parents and I stood in line waiting to enter the Galleria dell' Academia, my parents decided that they're moving here, that they were so happy and content that they could return to the States now and be done, and that they were never leaving. I don't know that any of this is true, but it made me so happy! I'm excited for all of our travels and I loved Florence, but I think it excites me more that two of my most important people are able to have this experience. 

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