Our last day began with the best breakfast we have had on this trip right here in our very own Hilton. Eggs, bacon, waffles, and more! Today would be the first day in a long time where the first meal of the day was NOT lunch! We caught our bus and headed towards beautiful Florence. Destination = the Duomo. But first, a quick pit stop at the market to buy a scarf to cover my shoulders so that I was actually allowed into the cathedral. Kicking myself because I had packed numerous cardigans for this very purpose, I picked out another 3 scarves (more gifts!) and reminded myself that only a crazy person would have thought to pack a cardigan in this heat! We said goodbye to the market and hello to the spectacular Duomo! I vote this my favorite cathedral that we've seen, mainly because of the extensive, detailed exterior. We made it inside after only a brief wait, and I was relieved that we had, in fact, gone to get the scarf once I saw the ridiculous coverings that looked like massive versions of the bibs you have to wear at the dentist office given to the girls who were showing a) shoulders b) too much leg or c) both! We toured the inside, snapped more pics, and decided that visiting the top of the dome would be fun and give a scenic view of Florence. However, the line was super long and hardly moved in the 20 minutes that we waited before we called it quits and headed for lunch. We decided to put the 16 euros that we saved towards our "going out" feast we were planning for our last meal in Italy later that evening. Ryan had recommended a restaurant called Aqua al Due that we wanted to try, but it was only open for dinner, so we settled on the Il Barroccio restaurant down the street. We both ordered their light fare, which included lasagna, a side item (fries for Kyle, salad for me), and our staple Tiaramasu for 8 euros. Again, another great meal in Italy!
Following lunch, we crossed the Ponte Vecchio, perusing the works of the local artists and other stores along the way. We were in search of a nice cafe where we could spend an afternoon reading in the shade with a scenic view, and we found the perfect place! Piazzale Michelangelo overlooks Florence and is a perfect place to spend an afternoon if you're willing to make the hike up the countless stairs to get there! And it is entirely worth it! We spent time at the very top looking out over EVERYTHING in Florence and then went down 1 set of steps to a cute cafe called Moka Efti, where we sat with yet another beautiful view, sipping Cappucino Freddos and beer...gorgeous and delicious! After a while, we retired down the hill and found another perfect place to read and people watch on a park bench across from the river. Kyle finished The History of Love in perfect time for me to read in on the plane tomorrow, and we both agreed that Florence was another place where we could see ourselves living!
For dinner, we had wanted to go to a restaurant called Quattro Leoni but we didn't have a reservation and would have had to come back in an hour and a half, so we decided to cross back over the bridge and find another restaurant worthy of our last supper! And we did--a cute restaurant called La Antiche Carrozze where we proceeded to order 3 pasta dishes (penne fiorentina, spaghetti alla carbonara, and linguini with pesto) and share them all! Unfortunately, our eyes were bigger than our appetites, but we managed to make a good dent in them and savor our last meal of "real" Italian food! Luckily, we cut ourselves off early enough to save room for our last helping of Tiaramisu as well! We truly went out with a bang when it came to this meal!
Unfortunately, we had an extremely early morning ahead of us and lots of packing to do, so we had to head back to the hotel and prepare to head home. We could not have been more blessed with our honeymoon and are so excited to share our stories and photos with everyone!
Italy, you've been good to us, and we don't know how we can back to eating just a peanut butter sandwich for a meal, but luckily, on Friday, we'll start to recover with a piece of Ms. Becky's Kentucky Derby Pie!