We headed back to the square, Piazza della Republica where we had met with the group the night before. We spotted a cute outdoor cafe that was bustling with people so we figured it must be a good find.
Under the shade of the cafe canopy we ordered the best Italian spaghetti and lasagna from a very amusing waiter.
Italian men are quick witted and charming--at least our waiter was. At one point he swiftly walked by and with a smirk and a nod toward another waiter said, "He's married, I saw you looking. And that one? don't even think about it--he's gay!" which left Megan and I in a bout of giggles.
They know how to entertain their tourists! They also don't hound you. We were left alone to enjoy our meal but not in a way that we felt neglected. It was the perfect dining experience.
After eating we walked across the square to the next hot spot on our list, Gilli's. It's apparently the oldest cafe in Florence. We figured that would be the best place to have a proper Italian espresso and let me tell you, it was love at first sip!
We tamed our fancy drinks with some milk and I had a coffee. Talk about wide awake!
While sipping at the bar we watched the bartender mix some incredible iced coffee drinks and sparkling fruity concoctions bubbling over with Prosecco.
In need of a little exercise to keep up with our caffeine high we walked underneath the clear sky to the Cathedral of Florence, Il Duomo di Firenze. Even though climbing to the top of the Duomo was closed, we were still allowed to enter the church.
The church is known for being constructed with a plain interior so as to not distract worshipers from the true purpose of being in the church. It's also why the marble exterior is so grand and extravagant.
It was more plain in comparison but there were still some features that I would consider to be anything but plain.
For our last tourist spot of the day we walked through the cobblestoned streets to Galleria dell'Accademia to see the real David statue by Michelangelo.
When we arrived at the museum the line was wrapped around the building. Standing in the hot and unforgiving sun seemed like the last thing we wanted to do, but we learned that admission is free on the 1st Sunday of the month.
So we waited. First we felt a bit like melting popsicles and as the half hour made its way to the hour we then began to feel dehydrated and delirious. Might've overdone it on the caffeine! The loud, pushy Italian family behind us in line did not make the experience any more pleasurable. After what felt like ages the line all of sudden took off like a eurostar and we made it in!
David was well. worth. the. wait. I don't think I have ever been more captivated by art especially for a sculpture. Dare I even say I loved it more than seeing my precious Degas and Van Gogh's in Paris?!
The accuracy and detail of David's body is simply amazing. Most artists from the same period over exaggerated the male figures muscles and made them look more Greek God-esque (It's a thing). Michelangelo is praised for being ahead of his time in that he really studied the human anatomy and created a beautifully realistic piece of art.
After staring for what might've been longer than necessary we walked around the rest of the museum which took us all of about 5 minutes. It's a small place. We did also get to see the famous Rape of the Sabines statue.
Thoroughly tired from our jam packed day we headed to the nearest bus stop for the line back to our hotel. Not without grabbing some gelato first though to cool down.
Later on that evening we had a group dinner and since Rome was our next stop (and final departure city for some of our group) a bunch of us rallied and raced back to the same club we'd been in the night before.
Literally raced to beat the cutoff time for paying cover!
We danced into the night but weariness settled in much quicker than the night before. I'm exhausted just thinking about the day, but grinning over my wonderful memories made in Firenze.