In my version of #ThrowbackThursday called #MondayMemories, here is a memory from way back to spring 2010 when I studied in Paris. For spring break some friends and I planned a trip to Greece and Italy. Unfortunately that stupid Iceland volcano Eyjaflllakdlekjgergkjregnkjegnkj (not real name) erupted and squashed my only dream of going to Greece. To say I am still extremely bitter is an understatement. HOWEVER, it luckily did not disrupt my trip to Italy and I stuffed my face with enough gelato and pasta to take away some of the pain from missing Greece. While I was most excited to see Rome because I love ancient civilizations (hence why I was so upset to miss Greece!) the surprising winner of my ‘Tour of Italy‘ (
not just a dish at Olive Garden) was our trip to Florence, or Firenze, as it is called in Italian.
While actually a small city, what’s not to love about Florence? It is home to ‘real, Italian leatha’ (
said in Staten island accent), amazing artwork and statues, and of course il Duomo di Firenze. While it is officially named Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, most people just refer to it as The Duomo. It is unlike anything I have ever seen and at the time, I was used to the cathedrals of France, which are impressive in their own right, but to see how colorful and different the Duomo is, was such a sight! I mean, just look at all those colors – does this look like a normal cathedral to you??
The real treat, however, is the view from the very top! You get rolling views of Florence if you dare climb the 463 steps to the stop, and believe me, this isn’t for the faint of heart. Sorry guys, no elevators here, you will have to climb steep and broken down steps, duck and squeeze through narrow passageways, scramble over other tourists who are exiting as you are entering, clutch walls, and crawl (just kidding, no crawling!) to get to the top. Being 5 foot 11 inches had some downfalls going through these passages but, low-and-behold, I survived and I am so glad I did! The burn and bumps were well worth the spectacular sights.
I highly suggest visiting the top of il Duomo if you find yourself in Florence. We went about an hour and a half before it closed, and while we still had to wait in line, it is nothing compared to the line found in the morning. Despite a line, it is certainly well worth the wait and you won’t be disappointed.