Open my heart and you will see…

17 Apr

Italy, and the Spring, and first love – all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.
– Bertrand Russell

 

It was late morning on New Year’s eve day as our high speed Trenitalia, which was traveling at over 220 miles per hour, came to a hault.  We had arrived in the romantic and iconic Florence, Italy – also known as Firenze.  It was a cold and sunny winter day, colorful graffiti decorated the walls and tunnels of the train stations, representing the most brusque and modern art that adorns this fine historic city.  I should mention that Kai was completely in awe just from the train ride.   The Tuscan landscape is like none other.  Much delightful Chianti Classico and divine tuscan cuisine also awaited us.

Graffiti in the train station

We exited the train station and made a dash for a taxi to take us to our hotel.  We were determined to make the most out of our first day in Florence, and ensure that we had a chance to find our way through the romantic streets of Florence before the New Year’s celebration began.  After checking-in and getting settled in our hotel, off we went back into the center of Florence.  Our first stop – the Basilica di Santa Maria de Flore – the main church of Firenze.  And was it grand! The exterior is faced with marble panels in varying shades of green and pink. It’s duomo soars above all of the historic buildings and defines the Firenze landscape from all the hillside neighbors that surround city center.

 

Duomo view in Firenze

We spent hours that afternoon walking the streets, getting lost, and simply having the time of our life savoring all Firenze had to offer on New Year’s eve.  Nightfall came alive in this bustling city. Artists painted the streets (literally) while musicians carried on.  Vendors were everywhere, selling all the little light-up gadgets one can imagine.  Eventually we found our way to a great little place for an early New Year’s dinner – Ristorante Toto – and it was amazing.  Course after course of pure Italian indulgence: Antipasta; insalata verde; fried artichoke hearts; calamari; house made ravioli; perfectly grilled t-bone; and of course dessert… traditional profiteroles.  And how can I forget to mention the champagne and bottle of Chianti Classico that we washed it down with.  We spent a couple hours in this quaint little place.  At the table next to ours was a kind Russian couple who were absolutely in love with Kai.  They insisted on playing with him and holding him in between courses of food.  And Kai was of course entertained by their friendliness and new voices.  It was a wonderful dinner that marked the end of 2013, one of the best year’s of our life.

Street artists

T-Bone steak

Antipasta cart

After dinner, we continued to walk the streets of Firenze.  Then we stopped into a small shop, grabbed a bottle of wine, and headed back to our hotel.  From the fifth floor of our hotel we watched the New Year’s eve fireworks that lit-up the Florence skyline at the stroke of midnight while sweet Kai slept peacefully next to us.  It was a New Year’s eve we will remember forever.

Punto Vecchio at dusk

Fireworks over Florence

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: