Last weekend Ashley and I decided to FINALLY climb the Duomo, aka, Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. The Duomo is the largest brick dome ever constructed, an old Italian church, one of the most famous tourist attractions of Tuscany, and our backyard!
To climb the Duomo, you must enter through the side, not the front, which the is the front door to the church.
Ashley and I decided to go on a muggy day, but we had not gotten out of bed until 4 pm and we really needed to do something. To climb the Duomo, you must pay 8 euro ( a museum pass does not work) and so begins your adventure up the most narrow and winding staircase that reminded like a hidden corridor in Hogwarts, in the Chamber of Secrets. I’m pretty sure the Duomo is 463 steps, but it isn’t as bad as it sounds when your constantly stopping to take pictures in holes in the ancient brick wall, gazing at the magnificent ceiling of the church, and squeezing through the tiny windows to view the tips of towers and rooftops of apartment complexes.
When we finally reached the top, after climbing the steepest set of stairs, the view of Florence was laid out before us. City in the front, hilltops in the back.
After enjoying the beautiful view of yellow buildings and seemingly endless life, Ashley and I ventured back down the Duomo steps, squeezing by people walking up and waiting for the to go by. We decided to go to Gusta Pizza, one of the most famous pizza places in Florence, where everyone has been but me! We walked across the Ponte Vecchio, our feet becoming increasingly tired, but our spirits quite high from the days activity. Upon arriving at Gusta, (imagine us slow motion running across the street and both reaching for the door handle) to realize it was locked, closed, and on SIESTA for 3 hours. So we went back home and ate a nutella and banana sandwich. Our friends were coming over later so we were excited to go out and have a nice time…
Later that night….
It sort of makes me sick to even think about! But I didn’t feel well that weekend, and stayed in all week, so Ashley and I were excited to go out that night and drink the Chianti Classico she purchased on our Chianti wine tour. Our friends came over, and we wore our new clothes, laughed and rushed out of the house in excitement.
Upon arriving back to the steps of my apartment, lets say 3:30 am, I was alone and waiting for Ashley to follow behind me. I sat on the front steps and realized my phone was dead. It was freezing. I reached into my purse to play with something, and felt a giant empty space.
My insides starting shaking and I was instantly nauseous, standing up and looking around me in bewilderment. I started walking away from the door, but realized I had the keys, because Ashley and I usually only bring out one set because we are usually always together. I couldn’t leave the steps and I didn’t know where Ashley was coming from, who knew if I would run into her on my way back to the bar.
I thought of the men at the place we were at. The place was packed with people-body to body- and I kept going to the bathroom for air, and finally leaving because I couldn’t stand it anymore! I didn’t feel well and I shouldn’t have gone out, I remember thinking. The men kept pushing into us and it was so annoying. One of them must’ve reached into my purse when I was talking to my friends or when I was literally on the floor after my jacket fell, looking for it. Bad night.
I usually never bring out my wallet. Which is what was so aggravating, because the one time that I did, it got stolen.
And so we move forward.