On this day: Rome to Florence, Italy

See more from my On This Day series here, where I celebrate travel memories on their trip anniversaries.

On June 7, 2018, I was in Florence, Italy.

We had arrived in Italy a week ago, and were basing ourselves in the national capital. We spent our first few days in and around Rome, going on a food tour through the bohemian neighbourhood of Trastevere; visiting the Pantheon and the Colosseum; taking a day trip to Pompei; and exploring the Vatican.

On the sixth day of our Italian vacation, we planned an excursion to Florence, the heart of Tuscany. Via the high speed Trenitalia train, it was about a two hour journey from Rome to Florence.

We had originally intended to attend a food tour upon our arrival in the morning, but due to a shortage of participants, our tour was rebooked for the evening. This opened up our schedule and allowed us to fit in some extra stops that we had not planned to make.

A short walk from the train station brought us to the Florence Cathedral, formally known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. The complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, encompasses the cathedral, the Baptistery, and Giotto’s Campanile. These three buildings are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence.

We had booked tickets to go up to the Duomo of the cathedral, but missed our reserved time so ended up doing the alternate trip up the bell tower within the campanile. After a dizzying flight up 414 narrow steps, we were able to observe sweeping views overlooking the city.

Following our morning at the cathedral, we stopped at All’Antico Vinaio for sandwiches, and then went on to Uffizi Gallery. This prominent art museum features a vast collection of works particularly from the Italian Renaissance.

Next up was a quick stop to see perhaps the most iconic masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance. Michelangelo’s David is found at Galleria dell’Accademia, a small but popular gallery — the second most visited in Italy after the Uffizi. There is also a selection of unfinished Michelangelo pieces here.

After a day of culture and art, we capped off our trip with our highly anticipated sunset food tour with Eating Europe. Starting with a Negroni and finishing with a massive bistecca alla Fiorentina, we ended our day in Florence with full stomachs and tired legs. Then it was back to Rome for a couple more days of adventures.