Exploring the Famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Tuscany
Visiting Florence was like entering into a real-life painting. Every street corner; every alleyway was picturesque. Even when it rains (or especially when it rains), the city maintains a certain charm that can't be replicated anywhere else. It's the only city I've been to where I can wander down a random street and discover a castle with no one around. To say that Florence was magical would be a massive understatement.
Among the peach-colored buildings and gothic cathedrals lie the famous Uffizi Gallery, one of the largest museums in the world. Fun fact: it has been open to visitors since the sixteenth century. How incredible is that?! The architecture in Florence isn't just made to look old, it is old. And that's what's so charming and authentic about this city.
To get into the massive gallery, we had to book skip-the-line tickets beforehand to avoid waiting for hours in the rain. That turned out to be of huge help because there was even a line for the skip-the-line ticket holders, lol! I highly recommend that you book your tickets beforehand through the official website, which I've linked in the above paragraph.
Anyway, we spent the day exploring the massive, maze-like museum, taking tons of photos and sending them to our friends and family back at home. Thanks to T-Mobile's international data roaming plan (free for all T-Mobile users), I was able to share my profound experience with the people I love in real time. Despite the time difference, my mom appreciated the photos I sent her and expressed how wonderful it was to see me having the time of my life in such a surreal place. She sent me back photos of my shiba inu back at home, sleeping in weird positions and being the silly dog that he was. I couldn't believe how easy it was for us to communicate for free, despite being thousands of miles away from each other. Just a few years ago, I remember hating traveling because I felt so disconnected with the people I cared about while I was on the road. For me, traveling is more than just seeing cool things and immersing yourself in the culture; it's also about sharing those experiences with the people who matter. That's where I get the most joy from. Because I didn't have T-Mobile's free international roaming plan back then, I had to visit internet cafes and pay for internet by the minute in order to have a fraction of the sharing experience that I can now do so freely. I definitely did not take this feature for granted, especially because I was visiting a place that was so worth sharing. I hope you'll enjoy my adventure!
On the way to the Uffizi Gallery, we stopped by Ponte Vecchio, which is the oldest bridge in Florence (and at one time, the only bridge that crossed the Arno River). This bridge dazzled even Charles Dickens, who said, “Among the four old bridges that span the river, the Ponte Vecchio, that bridge which is covered with the shops of jewelers and goldsmiths, is a most enchanting feature in the scene. The space of one house, in the center, being left open, the view beyond, is shown as in a frame; and that precious glimpse of sky, and water, and rich buildings, shining so quietly among the huddled roofs and gables on the bridge, is exquisite."
"The energy of Florence is indescribable: overflowing with bustle and charm, teeming with life. Every corner bears new treasures, every cobblestone a gem. The artistry in the sculptures, the landscapes, the architecture is beyond compare. I feel a sense of humility and awe walking along these ancient streets, which have served as witness to countless revolutions, tread upon for so many centuries by artists and martyrs and geniuses alike. The stones are infused with history and culture and knowledge: I feel it. I feel the presence of generations, I feel the weight of giants." - Emily Kyle, CAPA Florence alumna
Finally, we're in the Uffizi Gallery! Looking down, you see tourists and locals alike passing through the massive monument.
Each section on the roof was painted differently than the next. These meticulous paintings adorned the ceilings of the Uffizi hallways. How could I not photograph a whole bunch to send back home? In times like these, having T-Mobile is truly a blessing. I feel the same about having a smartphone. Not everyone has the luxury of snapping photos at their leisure and sending it to their friends and family, even if it is 2018. I personally know a few who can't afford to do so. If you can't afford a smartphone right now, know that you can get $100 off any select smartphone of choice! Check it out here.
Magnificent is an understatement here at the Uffizi!
Snapping away! :) It was neat to share this immediately on my Instagram stories as well. Seriously, what a time to be alive!
The unique thing about these old paintings was that they were painted ON the wooden frame itself, resulting in brilliantly shaped masterpieces that deter from your usual canvas background. This one here was painted by a monastery monk I believe..
Christ's cruxifiction with all the scenes prior to it. Jaw-dropping.
This one was one of my favorites because it was huge and so full of interesting narratives. It's called Primavera, or Spring, and it should be read from right to left. On the far right, Zephyrus, the wind, is shown kidnapping Chloris the nymph, which sets off the cycle. The story goes that he later marries Chloris and she turns into the goddess of Spring. Right above her is cupid and to her left are the three graces, and finally, Mercury.
Looks like Jonathan is on the phone here, but he was actually just listening to the handheld guide. Heheh :)
My mom particularly liked this one. She really loves the Virgin Mary because she said she could empathize on the type of loss Mary had gone through.
It's not a complete museum visit without some lame mimicry!
This scene was right outside the window from the place where I took that photo above!
Uncanny, if I do say so myself...
Such trippy design!
Cheers to my giant challace, anyone?? Alright, enough with the silly photos. Oh, who am I kidding? Here are a few displays I thought were absolutely hilarious:
By the time we left the Uffizi, this was what the Arno river looked like. Incredible.
I'm so glad I get to share my adventures with you on this platform. I love sharing because I feel like that's how bonds are created! If you want to share your travel adventures with your loved ones for free, here are the deals I mentioned above: T-Mobile's International Data Roaming and the $100 off select smartphones for everyone - no exclusions! Please know that this deal is web only and the offer ends on 6/30. Enjoy!