Florence, Italy (Firenze, Italia)
On Firenzical day numero quattro we awoke super early and caught a bus to the centre with a bunch of commuters. Our plan of grogginess paid off, as the line for the campanile was short and we immediately began the climb.
Next we wanted to see the free part of the duomo as it was stilll early enough in the day that the queue didnt circumnavigate the entire cathedral. It hadn't quite opened yet, so we queued with the rest of the damp tourists. Once inside, our initial impression was that it was much too large a space to be so bare. Siena's duomo was also huge, yet every square metre was covered in decorations and that was more impressive in a way than sheer size alone.
Moving on, we visited the church of Santa Maria Novella. Seeing no signs denoting any separate entrance for Firenze card holders, we foolishly joined the normal queue. After waiting our turn, we approached the ticket booth and were told to go to the opposite side of the church. We ended up having to enter through the information centre, which is so intuitive! How did we miss it?!
Bitterness aside, the church was a delight. In one part, tombstones covered the walls and much of the floor! We gazed at faded frescoes and wandered through several cloisters. Competed around 1360, it was termed 'novella', meaning "new" as it was built atop a pre-existing ninth century church. An early nativity scene painted by Botticelli graces its walls.
After a short cappuccino break we finally entered my favourite church - Santa Maria Croce! I'd seen it from the outside numerous times as we walked past it on the way to other attractions, and today was the day to step inside.
Moving on to the Medici Chapel, we entered the vampiric tomb chamber with awe. Or at least I did, as Yannick had already seen it before on our 2013 trip - I had missed it due to my foot being fat from infection. I deem it vampiric for all the dark red and grey stone covering the walls and...there are creepy coffins lying around. I can totally imagine a centuries-old Medici creaking out from under the lid and staring around with pupil-less eyes.
It was here that I left behind our umbrella right before closing time, requiring us to procure a new one. Yannick insisted on the colour red [insert rolling eye emoji here].