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Florence, Italy 2016 image by NY See You Later!

Florence

Florence Cathedral, aka Il Duomo di Firenze

Florence Cathedral, aka Il Duomo di Firenze

We fell in love with Florence. It was quintessentially Italian, and wasn’t as overrun by tourists as Rome and Venice would prove to be. A few extra days there would have been perfect, but two days were all we had. We scheduled as much as we possibly could there. We stayed at an Airbnb for only $40 for a private room just around the corner from the Ponte Vecchio Bridge. The Airbnb was hard to find even with the address. It was a great location and the host was very friendly and knowledgeable. He gave us a lot of great tips about where to eat and sightsee.

Uffizi Gallery

Uffizi Gallery

 

Uffizi Gallery

Uffizi Gallery

 

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

 

Dan & Emille in the Palazzo Vecchio tower

Dan & Emille in the Palazzo Vecchio tower

 

Florence Cathedral, aka Il Duomo di Firenze from the Palazzo Vecchio Tower

Florence Cathedral, aka Il Duomo di Firenze from the Palazzo Vecchio Tower

Advance reservations for the Galleria dell’Accademia where Michelangelo’s David resides and the Uffizi Gallery are recommended—for good reason, we discovered. Our 9am reservation at the Galleria dell’Accademia served us well, as we barely had to wait in line for the museum to open. That gave us just over an hour to enjoy David and the museum—which was perfect, as the crowds were not yet at capacity—to make our 10:30 appointment at the Uffizi Gallery. The Palazzo Vecchio was stunning, and the panoramic city views from the tower are second to none! Have some small Italian coins in your pocket for the elderly beggars because they won’t leave you alone until you give them something.

Michelangelo's David

Michelangelo’s David

 

Michelangelo's David image by NY See You Later!

Michelangelo’s David

Viewing Michelangelo’s David in person was an awe-inspiring encounter with the finest of Renaissance sculptures. The museum is beautiful, and his David commands the focus at the end of the vestibule. The museum lights and opaque skylights above it create a soft, even light on the masterpiece.

Michelangelos David Print

Michelangelos David 40×60″ Print from Sony a7rii

We upgraded our 10-year-old Nikon D80 to a 40mp Sony a7rii for this trip, and it was worth it for the photos we captured here alone. This new gear allowed us to have a 40 x 60” canvas printed of our favorite photograph. Admiring this representation of the Biblical hero David firsthand was profoundly enriching, and now we can admire this masterpiece daily.

Piazzale Michelangelo is a stunning square with panoramic views of the city. It’s as if everything tasted and smelled better than expected. We fell in love with Florence’s sights, architecture, art, food, and each other all over again. It’s also less crowded and less touristy than almost any other world-famous city we’ve visited. Although we’ve only been to five cities in Italy so far, it’s our opinion that Florence is one of Italy’s best kept secrets.

Made in Italy, by local artisans

Made in Italy, by local artisans

 

Made in Italy, by local artisans

Made in Italy, by local artisans

It’s a great city for leather jackets, but don’t purchase anything at the markets. Instead, seek out the small hidden stores owned by locals. Make sure the item says, “made in Italy” and that it is made by local artisans, or it may not be true leather. You can expect to pay a little bit more, but why would you go all the way to Italy to purchase something of substandard quality, not made by local Italian artisans, that you could get anywhere for the same price? Everywhere we visit, we try to support the true locals.

The sandwich shop

The sandwich shop

 

$5 Sandwich and $1 glass of wine!

$5 Sandwich and $1 glass of wine! And that hair…

 

Gelato in Florence

Gelato in Florence!

 

Emille enjoying gelato in Florence!

Emille enjoying gelato in Florence!

The pizza and gelato were always excellent, as you can imagine, and we located the “hole in the wall” sandwich shop that the Airbnb host recommended. There we had the best $5 sandwich, which was full of meat and healthy proteins, along with a small plastic glass of wine for $1.

 

Santa Maria Novella—the birthplace of perfume?

Santa Maria Novella—the birthplace of perfume?

 

Emille, a lover of perfume, scents and essential oils, found the Santa Maria Novella, the most beautiful perfume store we’ve ever visited. Further research indicates that this pharmacy is the birthplace of perfume in Europe. It is a must see, and they welcome photography. Emille picked up a wonderfully woody, dry, dark and musky fragrant perfume called “Tobacco Toscano” featuring tobacco, vanilla, amber and leather scents.

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Hi, we’re Dan and Emille. We met at church in NYC in 2010 and in 2011 we were married in Central Park on the bow bridge. In the last 6 years of marriage we stopped paying NYC rent, and bought a place on the edge of Hoboken, NJ, with spectacular views of the NYC skyline, which has been really fulfilling for photography enthusiasts. We have been talking about having kids for the last 6 years, but the New York lifestyle would make it difficult as our families are in Florida and Brazil. So we sold our place and furniture, left some great jobs, and friends and decided to have travel the world before we have kids. We’re cultured, but not fancy. We've been to 21 countries, and would love to visit all of them. We try to experience things like the locals as much as possible. Read more about us here http://nyseeyoulater.com/2017/11/07/about-dan-emille/.

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