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My first Italian cappuccino!

Florence, Italy
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We started our morning at the Sassetti chapel with a more in-depth explanation of the frescoes… been there, done that last week. Afterward, we went to a special exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi (rival family of the Medici) and stopped for coffee on the way in. I had my first cappuccino and it was AMAZING!!! I wish I caught on earlier and took the plunge into Italian coffee. It’s brewed with love here, I just know it. Nothing like that nasty crap from Starbucks. Anyway, we saw two plates from the Baptistery doors! Apparently Florence held a competition among artists to see who could make the best bronze plaques for the doors. We saw the same biblical story from two different artists: Ghiberti and Brunelleschi. Ghiberti won the contest at only 21 years of age, and created the Gates of Paradise. :O

We headed back to the institute for lunch, where Zooey and I heated up our leftovers from last night’s dinner. I headed back into town because I needed to do some research on my chapel (which I had never actually seen before), buy souvenirs, and mail postcards. I decided to walk into town because the souvenir shop I was interested in was on the way to my chapel and the fastest route included walking past Galileo’s house again. I stopped in the souvenir shop and everything was so original! Nothing like the rest of the places I’d been into so far. I bought an ornament for Mom that was made right here in Firenze. Next, I went searching for a Tabacchi shop where I could buy stamps. I showed the cashier my postcards, but she gave me stamps for local mail… do I really look Italian? No. I am getting a nice tan from being outside though ;) I returned those stamps and *hopefully* bought the correct ones. My postcards from Rome should be in the mail now!

I took a dinner break with 11 other girls and we went to a Chinese restaurant by SMN. The menu was pretty much entirely in Chinese, so I was so happy to sit with Zooey! We got some beef in red chile soup with fried rice and white rice. I was STUFFED! We walked up the street to tent city and looked at some purses, but the cart owners can be really pushy. We did learn that prices are cheaper right before they close and the prices get better cart after cart… at least I know where to shop for souvenirs tomorrow!
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Points of interest

Via dei Sassetti
Beautiful frescoes and either free or really cheap. Not nearly as crowded as other chapels in Florence. Bring a scarf to cover your shoulders!

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