Around Florence

December 26 – A Lazy Day in Florence

Piazza del Duomo in Black and White by Justin Korn

With a wake up call at 9:00am, I headed down to the lobby for breakfast at 9:45. When I got there, the owner of the place, which was the same guy that checked me in (he seems to always be here), had one table still set but was clearing out most of the breakfast stuff already (apparently breakfast ends at 10:00am). He was very kind and offered me yogurt, cereal, fruit salad, ham, bread, coffee, orange juice, etc. While I ate, we chatted briefly about the different ways people eat breakfast. For example, he noticed that in general, Americans drink more coffee then anyone else and those from South America tend to eat a lot of bread and cheese. Italian’s on the other hand, according to him, would only have a croissant and maybe an espresso.

In any case, I was out the door a little after 10. The day was nice, but VERY windy; and when the wind blew, it was VERY cold. I’m not sure how strong the wind was blowing, but at one point, it surely pushed me backwards and made it much harder to walk forward. Fighting the wind, I made my first stop at the Galleria dell’ Accademia, home of Michelangelo’s David. Upon entering, I was bummed to find out that photography was not allowed in the museum. To me, the museum only had three interesting parts. The most obvious is David. When I turned the corner in the museum and saw him for the first time, I was a bit surprised at how big he really was. From all the pictures and things I’ve seen, it never occurred that the statue was so big. In any case, seeing David was awesome. The other interesting parts were a room full of 19th century sculptures and a music exhibit.

From there, I walked through Piazza del Mercato Centrale which was complely quite and on to Piazza San Lorenzo where Basilia di San Lorenzo and the Cappelle Medicee is. I stuck my head into both, but decided not to go into either one. Instead, I walked around a bit more, took some pictures of del Duomo and the Bapistry and ended up going into the Baptistery. After, I was a little hungry, sick of the cold wind, and had an hour to spare before they opened up Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as Duomo. So, I walked around abit more looking for a good place to have some pizza. I came across a place that had an advertised special menu for margarita pizza and a drink (beer or coke) for 8 EURO. I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t write down the name of the place because it wasn’t anything special…the beer was good though.

Rape of the Sabine Women by Justin KornI headed back to Piazza del Duomo where a line had started to form to get into the Cathedral. I found nice little nook somehow that was not windy and stood there until they started letting people in. While there, I found out the stairs to the dome were closed today and would reopen tomorrow. So, I spent a few minutes inside the cathedral and then walked over to Piazza della Signoria again for a daytime visit. I must say, I was much more impressed with the night time lighting and thought to myself that I might need to go back with and actually figure out a way to take a few pictures with a tripod there.

After that, I headed back to the hotel. The wind was picking up and the cold was getting down to my bones. I figured I’d take a short break, pick up my gloves that I had left behind this morning and add another layer. Well, I fell asleep while updating this journal for about an hour! I guess I was a bit more wiped out than I thought. When I woke up, I finished up what I had started writing, watched CNN for a little bit and then headed back out around 6:00pm. I had no direction to go, so I just followed the crowd and found an Irish bar showing the Arsenal soccer game. I made myself comfortable, had two Kilkennedys (Irish beer), and watched A. Villa tie the game at 2-2 in the 91 minute. It was a great game and I’m glad I found a place showing it.

From there, I headed back toward the hotel to a place I picked up a card earlier that had a pre-fixed menu of Bruschetta, Salad, Lasagna and I think Beats, all for 9.50 EURO. The portion was relatively small compared to what I have been used to, but everything was good (except the beats – not a fan) and at a great value. When I was finished, I made my way back to the hotel and despite the cold, I still managed to get myself some gelato…and it was great!

Back at the hotel, I jumped online for a bit and then headed to bed. Tomorrow it’s going to be Galleria degli Uffizi and I think I’m going to cross Ponte Vecchio and check out what’s on the other side of the river.

Till next time…

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Categorized: Travel Diaries