I arrived at his wonderful town early in the evening and headed straight to the hostel to drop my bags. One of the advantages to living in hostel dorms is you get to meet a lot of new and interesting people. I happened to be in luck because as I walked in the door, a group of my dorm mates were headed to the one place I absolutely wanted to be that evening. 

Piazza Michelangelo is a famous square that offers two magnificent sights, a bronze statue of David and a stunning panorama of the city. It was also the beginning of a wonderful new phase of my trip with some new friends. The rest of evening passed by in a blur, with us all getting to know each other.

The next day morning, we all headed out on a guided walking tour of the city that is offered by most hostels. It started off at the San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, a beautiful relatively new church that displays quite a bit of flair. This was followed by a walk through the center of the town to Piazza Santa Trìnita, which houses a beautiful church and the Column of Justice. Its also close to the river Arno and a bridge which offers a brilliant view of The Ponte Vecchio, which is a throw back from the old days with a modern twist. A lane of butchers shops turned into a street of jewelery shops.

What was waiting for us on the other side of the bridge however, was well worth the walk till that point, some absolutely delicious Gelato. I ate mascarpone-cream cheese gelato on the way to Palazzo Medici, and even though I didn't go in on this trip due to a lack of time, I heard only good things about the gardens and hope to go back some day. From there we went to the last stop on our tour that morning, the bridge in the picture above. It certainly didn't smell anything like it must have when the bridge was originally built, but it was just as crowded. 

As the rest of the group dispersed, some of us got in line to visit the Uffizi Gallery. It contains some of the most amazing paintings and sculptures I have ever seen. It's also a wonderful place to spend an afternoon to escape the crowds, the heat or the line to climb the Duomo :).

Alas, my visit to this wonderful city was coming to an end. I had a few hours left to catch a train to Rome but I knew then that I would come back here some day to spend some more time exploring the birthplace of Renaissance. 

You can find my full photo album on Google+ : Florence

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