Smile #79 – Nice to Meet You, Florence, Italy! [Part II]

Nice to Meet You  See You, Florence!  [Part II]

Bubble and I planned to explore the other side of the Arno River.  Piazzale Michelangelo is known to offer the most perfect panoramic view of Florence.  It is by far my favorite spot in Florence!  🙂

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On our way there, I was focused on different food options around.  More gelato!  🙂  Out of nowhere, I saw a guy standing on the opposite side that looked familiar.  I blinked and did a double take before I confirmed it is Ash!  WHAT?!

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What a crazy coincidence to bump into an old friend from Erasmus in the street of Florence, especially when we both vacationing in Italy!  We live in quite a small world!  or Erasmus dominates the world!  🙂

After a few minutes of catching up, we parted ways.  It is still a bit unreal to bump into a friend so far away from home without any pre-set up arrangement!  🙂

We headed up the stone staircase to the Piazzale.  By the time we finally reached the top, I collapsed on a nearby bench.

Bubble was very impressed with the Florence skyline!  🙂  The beautiful view is paired with a replicate of the Statue of David.  Several stalls spread out in the square selling food, drinks and souvenir knick knacks.  Of course, selfie sticks vendors were around too.

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I climbed up to the edge to look out at the skyline.  Mountains slightly faded in the back, the famous river ran through city, dividing up the town into two side, and rooftops of century-old architectures were absolutely breathtaking!

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We sat at one of few benches observing the view and people watching.  Buses approached the curb and unloaded crowds of tourists.  With just a few minutes per each stop, everyone rushed in to capture the view.  Pose, click, pose, click.  I wonder if they enjoy that very moment or is it simply a ‘I made it’ kind of moment.

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Sidestory:  A girl appeared to be celebrating her Quinceanera, a major rite of passage in the Hispanic culture, dressed up in an puffy pink dress.  She was accompanied with her friends and a photographer.  He asked her to strike different poses as he worked the camera.  No one knew if they are famous or just an average having an extravagant day out but everyone stood around watching and taking photos of her.  An Asian lady assumed the girl is famous and hopped into the photo.  Haha, birthday party crasher?

We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the city.  No maps, no GPS, just roaming freely.  It is a relaxing yet unique experience.  We kept walking back to the same square.  After a few tries, we finally made it out of the maze.  We surprisingly stumbled across several churches!  🙂

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Santa Maria Novella Church
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The Church of Santa Croce

Outside the Church, a street musician caught my eyes.  A sign advertised Appalachian Music!  Thousands miles away and I still find a piece of home!  🙂  In addition to his music, he also had a paper puppet on a ledge.  As he played his music, the puppet would dance along.  So neat!  🙂

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Atlas, our ten days across Italy trip is coming to the end.  I am not ready to leave this magical country just yet.  Let’s just enjoy another gelato!  🙂

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