5.28.14- First day in Florence and we started our day with food obviously. We went to a tourist trap location next to the leather market called Trattoria Zaza. I should have known not to go there since it was on my hostel map but it was also on my Florence to do list. You can't win them all. Our hostel was behind the train station so we had to walk across the bridge to the city center which is gorgeous with churches and old structures everywhere. Explored a bit after lunch which was followed by gelato. I was having some fun copying some of the tourists' poses in my own pictures. Make sure to visit Ponte Vecchio, it's a bridge with jewelry store fronts from start to end. I was hoping to get a piece of jewelry for my mom and myself for this trip but the windows had hundreds of pieces and none of them stood out. The ones that did were too out of my price range. I'm sure I could have found something if I kept looking but I didn't want to fight my way in there with all the other window shoppers. You can sit along the bridge and look out at Florence which is built by a river. It's an amazing view but I much prefer the beach over river, must be my Cali side but why look at brown stream water when you can get the blue green ocean. There were some people sitting along the river, you can climb the barrier and go down closer but I didn't bother considering I'll be going to Greece later in the trip.
Next and final sightseeing stop for the day was the Boboli garden. I love that you can walk everywhere in Florence unlike Paris. The garden is surrounded by a museum. It was a nice day to be outdoors and the garden is amazing. I love the parks of Europe with their fountains and their vast greenery. You can feel the grandeur of the time this was made. The park is big but we finished in about an hour. There is a big fountain to the right which was gorgeous. After the garden we did a quick trip around one of the museum that came with the admission. It was a small museum with few items on display and even the rooms were kept in its original state. It was a quick walk through, they had a display of jewelry which I found interesting but other than that, it was okay. On the way out you can find Grotta Grande, created by Bernardo Buontalenti built in 1583 and intended to be a fantasy inspired grotto. It's beautifully ugly as best described. beautiful in respect that there were so many details and the statues were perfect in its depiction of the human body and scenery, ugly in a sense that it looks like hot molten or acid was poured over the entire grotto making it look like it belonged under the sea. Aaron said this was in the same style as the buildings in Spain which makes this a must see for me one day. I found this building the most fascinating in all of Florence because there was nothing else like it.