Two Weeks Of La Dolce Vita ↣ Part 4
Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Tuscany ↣ Florence ↣ Venice
As we continued to make our way further north, we couldn't skip Florence - and what magnificent things we saw! From Michelangelo to Boticelli to da Vinci, to the beautifully detailed, colorful Duomo, this city really is an artist's paradise.
I left the city center, headed south of the Arno river, and hiked up a hill to Piazza Michelangelo. I was rewarded with a stunning view of the city, with mountains in the distance. Sitting on the steps, a guitarist playing soft Italian music, I gazed upon the magnificent Renaissance City.
Last stop ↣ Venice!
Venice is a touristy city nowadays, but that didn't deter me from seeing this masterpiece city. I absorbed hundreds of years of history as we took a water taxi down the Grand Canal, passing countless palaces that the richest people at that time once occupied.
I hunted down my long awaited squid ink dishes, saw exceptional pieces of art crafted from Venetian glass, and craned my neck upwards to appreciate countless more frescoes. Of course there were the famous waterways weaving throughout the six sestieri, connected by hundreds of bridges varying in size. Breaking my personal record for bridges crossed in one day, we explored San Marco, San Polo, and Santa Croce, peering down streets so small only a single person could walk down at a time.
Impossibly chic, Phyl and I sat overlooking St Mark's Basilica at Caffe Florian, sipping Grappa, as Charles Dickons once did. The oldest cafe in the world, it has prime real estate in Piazza San Marco, competing with the other caffes' orchestras as they serenade patrons while they sip espresso, smoke cigarettes and absorb. The very next day we returned to explore the Basilica and Doge's Palace, arriving to a flooded piazza -- a common result of the canals rising up through the drains of the square. Luckily, the city was prepared and set up risers so visitors could escape the rising waters. I stood across the piazza, my eyes drawn to the stunning church's reflection in the flood waters, witnessing yet again Mother Nature's threat to gobble up another amazing city.
The last supper!
We knew it was inevitable that our last day in the country would come, and true to our style, we went out with a bang! After hearing amazing praise, we dined at the renowned Osteria Santa Marina, ordering side by side tasting menus. We feasted on six delectable dishes - including 4 complimentary items our stomachs really didn't have space for - and our usual bottle of Montepulciano, oohing and ahhing over the medley of flavors and stunning presentation.