After the concerts, Garth and I took an overnight flight from Chicago to Florence, Italy. I don't know if it's possible for another city to beat Florence as my number one favorite city - it's magical.
Garth and I arrived in the evening to our wonderful hotel, Torre Guelfa, and were greeted by his twin brother and one of my best friends (they're married)!! They arrived a few days earlier and spent some time in Cinque Terre and Lucca (lucky, lucky).
While we were there Italy was in a terrible heat wave, and while it kept us from looking half way decent and staying fresh, it did NOT keep us from exploring to the limit each and every day. From the moment we arrived we were on the go: eating, drinking, sightseeing... and repeat.
The pictures below are from our first night and day 1, during which we wandered the city, and the Boboli gardens behind Pitti Palace (probably one of my favorite things). The gardens have a ridiculous view of the city and even in the heat, we enjoyed the beauty.
After the gardens we stumbled into a little wine tasting room (because it had an AC sign up), and had a taste of some lovely Rose.
And, to finish up this day we shared a bottle of wine on the rooftop of our hotel, which has the most amazing views, and ate at a fantastic restaurant, Parione. I had my favorite pasta EVER there, and I will probably never be able to recreate it... =(