Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Florence

Day three found us again in Florence.  We decided to try to get up early and go to the top of the Duomo, but by the time we got there after breakfast there was a one and a half hour wait, so we changed plans and headed to the Boboli Gardens behind the Pitti Palace.

From there the views got better as we climbed higher.  We had to leave the gardens to a small fort on the top of a hill to get the best views of the city.

The Boboli Garden ticket allowed us into the Pitti Palace to see a costume exhibit and one of small jewel like items,  These were in some beautiful rooms that showed the architecture of the palace.

We then trekked back to the heart of the city for a brief rest, then to see some of the architecture I studied in school.  These included the Inocenti Hospital, Palazzo Medici, Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce churches.

The day ended with dinner again at the fine family restaurant near the hotel.

Big lines at the Duomo

Crossing the Arno on the Ponte Veccio

Pitti Palace

View to Florence from the Palace

Boboli Gardens

View back to the Palace from high in the gardens.

Postcard view to downtown Florence





Inside Pitti Palace


Bakc in town.  View from our lucnch table.

Innocenti.  One of the first Renaissance buildings in the world.


Palazzo Medici Riccardi





Friday, September 23, 2016

The Baby Jesus Museum

Sarah and I had another wonderful day in Florence.  It began with us getting up at 9:00.  That is 12 hours of sleep.  It has been a while since I slept that long.

We were the last of the breakfast eaters in the terrific Bed and Breakfast, Panella's Residence.  We were there at 9:50.  they stop serving at 10:00.  It was no problem, and Graziella even booked us reservations to the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries.

On the way to the Uffizi, we did a little shopping with me scoring a cool Vespa t-shirt and Sarah getting some blue suede shoes she has been wanting.  The shoe store even held them for us as we visit the gallery.

Once inside the Uffizi, I quickly realized that it should be called the Baby Jesus Museum, as at least half the paintings had Baby Jesus as the prime subject.  All beautiful paintings, but as a gallery, it does not hold a candle to Chicago's Art Institute for me.  As a building, it was perfect.

From there we headed back to the Panella's, stopping for a quick snack at a little shop.  They didn't sell wine by the glass, so we bought a bottle of local Chianti, a bottle of beer and a panini sandwich.  Total cost, 12.80 Euro.  Did I mention that prices are amazingly low here?

We then went to the Accademia to see Michelangelo's David.  There, crowds were well controlled and David is special.  We sat on a bench behind the guy talking to a kind Australian woman who was on a long Italian vacation with her daughter.  It was a fun conversation.  She lives in Perth, the largest city on the almost exact opposite side of Earth from Jacksonville.

Graziella had recommended we eat dinner at a trattoria two blocks from us.  It was called Acquacotta.  We started to order when I asked the server what she would recommend.  So we ordered everything on her recommendations and it all was great.

It is such a nice place to spend some time.

Only three days until we have scooters!

My favorite of the Baby Jesus paintings.

The others looked something like this.

Breakfast at Panella's Residence


The Duomo dominates the city.



An octagonal room called the Tribue



The windowed hall at the Uffizi was a fine space

View from that space

Then a guided tour comes and the guide says "take a photo of this"



Maybe proof that aliens have invaded.

Botticelli

View from the restaurant in the Uffizi.

Turn around and it is even better

Michelangelo


Inside Palazzo Vecchio

Front door to Panella's Residence;  And the new shoe purchase.

David from afar

Up close

And from the side.  It is a great space for the display.

Dinner at Acquacotta




Bella Italia Scooter Rally

Sarah and I left on the flight from Washington to Brussels 90 minutes late.  With only a two hour layover, it looked like we might miss the connection to Florence.

But the pilot hit the gas and we made it with time to spare.

We arrived in Florence and opted to take a taxi to the little B&B I had chosen from the selections in Travelocity.  It had proven to be a great choice.

After a brief nap and showers, we headed out to see the famous city of Florence.  But we turned the wrong way out of the hotel and took a long route until we finally found our location and made it into the old city.  There we had a fine lunch, splitting a sandwich with a beer and wine while sitting at a sidewalk table.  All we could say was "perfect"

From there we walked around the Duomo, then down to Piazza della Signoria, along the Galleria degli Uffizi to the Arno River.  Then we crossed the Ponte Vecchio and had another beer and wine stop along the river.

Then back past the Piaxxa della Repubblica, past the Duomo again to an early dinner at Zio Gigi, a recommendation from Graziella our host.

We were so tired that Sarah was falling asleep during dinner.  Ready for a nice long sleep after maybe 1 hour sleep in the previous day.
Duomo from our taxi

Sarah enjoying lunch

Approaching the Duomo

Crowds around the Duomo

Piazza della Signoria

Statues


Ufizzi plazza

Rowing on the Arno River, from the Ponte Vecchio

Busy Ponte Vecchio

Arno from our stop for another beer and glass of wine.  4 other couples ther.  All American.

Shopping with the best view around through that window

These guys were very fine musicians.  Sarah got a video.

At the restaurant.