Florence

This past weekend was more than I expected. The beautiful city of Florence had several different things to offer. We found amazing art work, wonderful historic places and even some cheap shopping. My favorite place that we visited was The Santa Maria Novella. It is the first great basilica in Florence. This cathedral is especially famous for frescoes by Gothic and early Renaissance artists. One interesting fact about this cathedral is that it’s just across from the main railway station which shares its name.
Wine is a very important aspect of this area, therefore we took a tour bus and visited one of the main winery’s in Italy. We first toured the castle and saw amazing views of the vineyards that surrounded the vineyard. Our tour guide then took us into the basement of the home. This is where some of the wine is stored in huge barrels for them to age. Counting throughout the basement is racks and racks of bottles from hundreds of years ago. This is a family ran business therefore, they keep their “secret collection” here. The family who owns this place lives up above on the main floor. After touring, we sat down and tasted a few different samples of their wine. Each one had a unique taste but were all delicious. The desert wine was quite different but I could tell by the taste that it was good quality wine. The best part of this tour was that one of the vineyards was in the shape of a wine bottle.
In Florence, I decided to venture out and try new foods. I am a picky eater and it is very hard for me to find things that I like. Every day I tried something different and surprisingly I loved everything that I tried. I can not remember the name of my favorite dish but I always recognize it on the menu. It is similar to the American “hamburger helper” but it is much better. Each city in Italy is different from another but I am starting to learn more and more of how to live like an Italian. I must admit, the Italians know exactly who we are when they are around us. Hopefully by the end of the trip I can figure out how they know!

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