June 8, 2014 – Firenze!
From my journal:
We plan to see as much of this magnificent city as we can – in one day.
I guess this is the place to say this was among the biggest mistakes in
our my planning: a mere evening and a day to see one of the great cities of the world. I would have easily traded a day in another city for for a second one here: Venice, Nice, even Barcelona.
Breakfast was meager and the coffees came from a machine 😦 . Thought of attending (protestant) services, but the internet was splotchy and we couldn’t find English services that suited us. We bused to San Marco: stepped into church and Mass was underway, then went next door to the Museum, in an old monastery. Paintings & frescoes by Fra Angelico. The cells of Savonarola.
Walked to Palazzo Medici-Ricardi and toured.
Walked to Medici Chapels – closed.
Walked to the Duomo. Long line. Giotto’s Tower – Campanile – passed. Walked around the Duomo. On the shady side:
Gelato Day 9: Very good! Ate in the shadow of the Duomo – literally. Melon (cantaloupe) and strawberry.
Bronze doors on the Baptistry.
Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria.
Went to the Galleria degli Uffizi and they let us in. It was 2:00 and we were slated for 3:15. Magnificent. Botticelli, DaVinci, Lippi, Caravaggio.
Before and after, I walked the courtyard (statues of great Florentines).
We walked the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio, but did not go up. Selfie on the Piazza. Crossed the Arno over Ponte Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti, another superb museum, as well as brilliant residence from the times of the Lorraines and Napoleon. They rushed us out at the end, as it was closing time.
I had a problem that made walking acutely painful and got worse the more I walked. We walked back to the river, and the Ponte Santa Trinita, and there caught a bus to the Stazione. We decided the walking involved in busing the rest of the way was too much, so we took a taxi. By far the most expensive day so far. But also the best food, best gelato, and best museums! Florence did not disappoint; it’s an incredible city.