Today we had the day off, so I wandered around Florence with some classmates after breakfast. A modest estimate would be that we walked about 6 miles, though I have a feeling it was a little closer to 8 or so. We headed out around 10:45 for the Central Market, where I took a million pictures and bought some dried kiwis, strawberries, and dates. After that, we got lunch at Mario’s, a restaurant nearby that’s known for being a local favorite. I ordered a bean and vegetable soup and had a slice of (unsalted) Tuscan bread. It was pretty awesome. After that, we grabbed some gelato at Grom (if you go to the one in NYC, order the crema de Grom) before meeting a few other classmates as they came out of the Uffizi museum, and got in our shopping fix.

We ended up at the Palatzo Pitti, where we walked through a costume gallery and then the Boboli gardens, where we took a bunch of photos. I hate to sound like a tourist, but it was pretty damn breathtaking. We stayed until the garden closed and then wandered back over the Ponte Vecchio to find some dinner. We ended up at a place near Santa Croce called Trattoria Pallatino. We shared some red wine and tomato crostini and then I had plate of grilled veggies and a bowl of pappa di pomodoro, a traditional tomato-and-bread soup. It was so delicious.

After dinner, we made our way to one of the stands that was part of the gelato festival going on this weekend. 2 euro bought us a pretty, um, healthy portion of gelato. I tried a vanilla-hazelnut combo. The forty-minute walk home was pretty welcome after that. It’s pretty nuts both how much we eat and how much we walk. I can definitely see how someone could lose weight (or at least not gain much weight) on a trip like this. Doing so much sight-seeing, you don’t really feel like you’re burning calories.

Thus concludes a delicious 12 hours out and about in Firenze.

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