No better way to start the day than with a gigantic morning sugar rush. We hired a taxi to drop us off at Santa Croce Piazza, and luckily, happened to stumble upon a chocolate market in full swing. I felt like I was at costco, except everything was made of chocolate. Free samples, yum. Kristin ordered a cookie with little chocolate candies on top, but what appeared to be a cookie was actually solid white chocolate. Very rich.
An assortment of truffles
I 'll have that one and that one and that one...
Check out the chocolate camera at the right and some machmalo, what what
This was a serious chocolate market, seriously like 4 rows
No shortage of offerings, we did not see anything twice
yum yum yum yum yum yum
Are those Tapirs?
crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch
More More More!
Fondente Mandorla! We had some of this, some coffee truffles, and about 10 samples of other varieties
Ribbet, this market made us forget about the cold
Gelati Al Limone
Looks like a cookie, but SOLID white chocolate
After nearly contracting diabetes during our morning chocolate free for all, we turned the corner for the more serious and entered the Basilica de Santa Croce, which is a gigantic church and tomb. It houses the bodies of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. Very famous dudes. It is also a tomb for other wealthy and famous Florentines. The walls are very old and sort of whisper the past in very cold hushed tones. A definite sense of spirituality exists within the basilica, and every now and then you pass through eerie cold spots. You can just sense that it is an extremely important place and sort of bigger than the here and now.
Outside the Basilica
A noble lion guarding the premises of Santa Croce
The Courtyard of the Basilica Santa Croce
Oh us? We just chilling.
I do not know the stories behind these, but they are interesting
A corner of the church
An empty courtyard
A door to the holy
The tomb of Galileo at left
The tomb of Michelangelo
Facing the front the altar in Santa Croce
The tomb of Machiavelli
To call these walls ornate would be an insult
Satined Glass Windows
These churches have interesting side temples that are so interesting
A chapel off to the side
This room was really cold
The exterior of Santa Croce Basilica
A very cool stationary shop that makes every thing by hand
We took a leisurely walk towards the Arno river while mulling over our options. Thankfully the rain had ceased, but for how long? We had been subjected to our fair share of downpours and extreme weather conditions, and quite frankly, were tired of this nonsense. We tried to plan a day that would involve as little exposure as possible, but before we knew it, we were walking the trails of Boboli Gardens, far from cover. Lucky for us, the rains did not come. We enjoyed taking in these gardens, which is essentially the backyard of the Medici. These gardens span a gigantic area of fountains, trees, and mazes directly behind Pitti Palace, the home of the Medici. It does not take along to realize the excessive wealth of the Medici, as this place is beyond elaborate in every way. Just check out the pictures.
Feeding the animals
Waiting to enter Boboli
A statue in the courtyard
The courtyard of Pitti Palace - home of the Medici
Inside that dark area...
Is this cool little room with baby statues (cherubs) swimming, why not?
The rear of Pitti Palace
The beginning of Boboli Gardens
A hazy day in Florence
A house on the hill
A small slice of the Tuscan countryside
Very cool statue, there was this little old man tending to the gardens here humming to himself
A rare pic of both of us
Never tire of this view, we stood here for like 30 minutes
Another of the fountain
A shattered head
A very line lane lined with cypress trees
A delicate curve
The back of a wing of Pitti Palace
Kristin being consumed by shrubs
An obelisk and a tub?
This cat took a swipe at Kristin just moments after this picture
The Medici Grotto
A real chubster
The facade of Pitti Palace
The most delicious chocolate ever
A street corner
Dinner 1 in a smallish shop
A carousel at night
One more thing, we got engaged tonight.
Posing with the new goods
Right under this archway on a cold winter night in Florence