Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Summer Day In Florence

Welcome back!

Today I am writing all about our first stop on our cruise in Florence. We loved the cruise aspect of our vacation because it allowed us to move to multiple locations while only unpacking once. We sailed on board the NCL Epic and we really loved it. There are definitely pros and cons for this part of our vacation and I will be discussing some of those. 

Our cruise started in Rome and we boarded the boat in the port town of Civitavecchia. It was about 45 minutes to an hour away from the city of Rome. We were bused to the location, which made the transition very easy. I think we boarded around noon the first day immediately went to explore the ship. Neither one of us had ever been on a boat this big so we were pretty excited. The Epic has a ton of activities, pools, food areas, and bars on almost all levels, making the amenities really easy to access from practically anywhere on board. 

Our first stop was in the port city of Livorno. In this port city you had the option of doing Florence or Pisa and Lucca or doing an excursion to fit in both Florence and Pisa. We did the "Florence on Our Own" excursion option {through NCL} so that we could explore without a tour and go through the city at our own pace. This included having busses drive you to and from Florence. You also have the security that if the excursion is late for whatever reason the boat will wait because it is an NCL excursion. We had a lot to pack while in Florence so we wanted to have our transportation handled. 

Florence, Italy, The Neapolitan

alt="Florence, Italy"

After arriving in Florence we walked to our meeting area and then disbanded. We headed to the Uffizi   Gallery. Make sure to BUY YOUR TICKETS EARLY! Just go to their website and pick a time and date and you skip a huge line. We did this throughout our entire trip and I never understood why people just didn't buy their tickets ahead of time. I have been to the Uffizi before, but it is a must see while in Florence so I had to make sure Shane saw it. He loved it of course. We both love the history of the Medici family and it makes it even cooler to see because it was their home.

After the Uffizi we strolled up and down the Ponte Vecchio looking at the all the shops and stopping for some gelato. After that we headed to the Accademia to see The David. I had not seen The David on my last trip to Florence so I was very excited to see it. I had heard how big he was, but it was even more incredible in person! 

After that we walked around for a bit trying to find a place to eat for lunch. This is where we had one of my favorite meals! It was a spicy penne and it was so so good. I cannot remember the name of the place, but it was little, cute, and the food was awesome. We went to the cathedral and the Duomo, before doing a little leather shopping. Shane got himself a great leather wallet and I was lucky enough to get a beautiful gold bracelet for our anniversary. 

We finished the day eating at the same place we ate at once we got into the city It was right next to our meeting stop, but the espresso and pastries looked and tasted amazing we just had to eat there twice. 

Florence, Italy treats

Florence, Italy

Florence is one of my most favorite places and I was so glad that Shane loved it as well. I wish we would have been able to spend a few nights there, but that will have to be saved for our next trip. I was worried about our schedule going into the day with all our appointments, but we made really great time and navigating was not too hard. I am glad that we did the city on our own. It was nice to pick and choose when and where we wanted to stop and not be attached to a group. 

My next post will be two locations. Cannes, France and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. We loved both these fun beach locations and enjoyed the change of pace from the cities. 

Thanks for reading! As always, leave any questions below :)

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