Our last few days in Florence were wonderful. We packed things up, continued to explore the city as much as we could, and met up with our friends (who were getting married) for several activities: a walking tour led by a very knowledgable art historian Cindy Nesti, a cocktail party at the Palazzo Ricasoli Firidolfi, which was built in the XVth century and has a tiny secret chapel entirely painted in oils by Giorgio Vasari. Seriously. The interior of this place is insane. I can't find THAT much information online about this Palazzo (nothing to link to that's all in one place), but here are a couple of examples:
The ceiling of one of the bedrooms:
The wedding of our friends on our last day in Florence was spectacular. Everyone met outside the Palazzo Vecchio in front of the Neptune Fountain and then entered the courtyard and headed upstairs to the Sala Rossa (red room) of the Palazzo Vecchio. This will give you a pretty good idea what this room looks like.
Chandelier inside the Sala Rossa:
After the beautiful ceremony (in Italian, translated into English after each part), the wedding party walked through town (a walk complete with a large group of school children clapping for the couple as they passed, and quite a few random tourists taking not-so-discreet photos WITH the bride) over to the Antico Torre and up to the rooftop where we gathered for cocktails, celebration, and incredible views of Florence. (Oh, and some suprise opera: Nessun Dorma and Funiculì, Funiculà by a tenor and a violinist!!)
Here from the rooftop of the Antico Torre you can see the Duomo on the left, and the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio (where the wedding was) on the right:
Just a few steps below was a beautiful U-shaped dining table where we all had a wonderful Florentine dinner, a song for the groom sung by the bride (adorable!), many toasts and tears and stories of love and life. It was one of the most romantic and memorable weddings I've ever been to and we feel so fortunate to have been included in this day.
After dinner a group of us went back onto the roof to watch the sunset over the Arno.
In the morning, we fly home (Florence–Paris–Los Angeles–Portland).
Best trip ever!