Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Italy Pt. 3 Florence

Ah, do you feel the achenes in our bodies? 40+ Year old bodies may think they can walk for 13 hours and be ok, but come morning, we were paying for it. Every step from our hotel bed to the train was felt ten fold. But we were ready to take on the day!
We quickly got ready and ate breakfast, gulping down our Italian coffee and headed over to Roma Termini for our 8:20am train to Florence! I was so excited! A high speed train through Tuscany! Yes please!
Tired but excited and joined in on the fashion trend. Everyone in Italy wears scarves. 
Plus it was cold!

245 Km/H! (153 MPH)


Trying out the espresso in the cafe.

Such a quaint little town!

More motorcycles


More seating areas jutting out into the street.

Our first stop was the Gallery Accademia, which houses Michaelangelo's David.
As we were walking there the street was lined with street hawkers selling paintings. I made the mistake of pointing to one in passing and said, oh, I have always loved that one. Next thing I know the guy grabbed it and started following us. I knew the going rate and when he said 20 Euro I knew he thought we were an easy target. I said No way. He said 15! I said 10! SOLD! He rolled it up and was on his way. Now, trying to be sly, we passed another one that I thought was beautiful. These guys are well trained and even though I didn't think I was obvious, he grabbed it and pointed to our painting asking HOW MUCH!? HOW MUCH? I told him 10, he grabbed my painting, unrolled it, rolled the other painting inside and said 8! And just like that I was the owner of 2 very lovely paintings for 18 Euro. (I will take a picture and show you later.) 
We pre-purchased tickets to the Gallery and I am glad I did. There was a line outside of people waiting to get in, but we walked right in. The gallery is very small. But there in the middle was this guy. Wow. That is all you can say when you are there standing in front of him.

The rest of the gallery was very underwhelming. But I am glad to have been able to see David.

As soon as you leave the Gallery, you see this lovely view of the Duomo.

Getting closer.

This thing is HUGE!!!

The bell tower. (click to listen)

We decided to have a snack and people watch for a while. I ordered a machiatto instead of a Latte machiatto. Whoa! Caffeine rush! Machiatto is an espresso with a shot of milk. A latte machiatto is milk with a shot of espresso. Much weaker.

Walking inside was a bout 15 degrees (f) cooler than outside! 
I would hate to visit in the middle of winter! 

Unless you paid, this was the best view of the painting inside the dome. I provided a link up top in the word Duomo, it has some great pictures and an aerial view to show the massive size of the church.
I have more pictures later when we pass it again.
Now, off to wander again.
By the way. My allergies were terrible in Florence. The wind was blowing and it was bringing in every single pollen spore from the surrounding area. It was bad.

Prices in the Disney Store were cheaper than in America!

So many Piazza's!

Street Art

Drooling Wild Boar

Medusa having her poor head cut off....

Yep. Allergy face.
Jay wasn't interested in seeing anymore museums, so we just decided to walk around and experience Florence itself. See where our feet would take us. Do me a favor. If you ever get the chance to visit Florence, do NOT go to the Boboli Gardens. I can not warn you enough. I had no idea. We had to pay 10 Euro each to get in, and once in we were faced with up hill gravel walkways that were lined with box hedges that were at least 20 feet high. That was it. That was our view. We were tired and hoped for a nice garden with some flowers, some benches, SOMETHING! We hit the washroom and I declared that I was going to find a grassy area and take a nap! And that is just what I did. After hiking up hill to get to the garden, then up hill to the grassy place, and allergies... I was done.

After my 30 minutes snooze (surrounded by other tourists doing the same thing)
This was the view. 

Us, smiling and pretending this place is fun.

We left and headed back into the city. We were hearing Ambulance sirens getting closer and then noticed a police officer taking pictures of a taxi... then, there was a poor woman sitting on the curb, the taxi had hit her! The poor woman. Her vacation ruined! We watched a nice puppet show, and continued on our way.

Back at the Duomo


At the train station. 1 Euro to use the toilet. 
We finally arrived back at the hotel near 11pm.

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