Final Day in Italy

December 28 – Final Day in Florence

Up at 8:30 this morning, I finished packing, had breakfast, checked out and headed over to the Uffizi museum for my 10am entry time. Upon arrival, the line was even worst today then it was previously. I stood where I was suppose to (the only person there when I got there) and waited 5 minutes before they let me in. Now, what transpired after was a series of negative experiences that kind of effected my experience, so I’ll try to hold back some of the negativity from this post.

First, I enter and go to the cloakroom to inquire whether I need to check in my bag or not. The lady there said it wouldn’t be a problem. So I go and stand at the entry area with maybe 3 or so huge tour groups. Luckily I was in front and would be able to scoot ahead and hopefully avoid their craziness. Meanwhile, one of the tour guides comes barging to the front and starts yapping with the guy that is going to let us all in. She pushes me out of the way with no explanation. After talking with the guy up front (and I think I was giving her a nasty look) she looks at me and says, in Italian, you need to check in your bag. I told her in English, the lady at the front said it shouldn’t be a problem. At this point (and this all happens within 20 seconds or so), one of the other tour guides are jumping in at making me go back and check my bag in while the original lady is basically telling on me to the guy that lets all in. Sure enough, he tells me I have to check my bag. I try to explain the lady at the front said it wouldn’t be a problem, but since he has all the authority in the situation, I have nothing to add. I push my way through the crowd back to the cloak room to check my bag. Now they are letting everyone in and I’m in the back of the mass crowd. From there, I find out that photography is not allowed inside the museum. I had read it was, but when trying to take a few pictures, I was abruptly told NO. So now I’m fuming and in the middle of a this huge crowd. I decide to skip the first room to jump ahead and break away from the craziness. Once I did so, I was much happier. I walked through the first floor admiring the sculptures and paintings before lead to the end of the floor and lead to the next floor down. Apparently they were doing some construction and the entire floor except for the very end was bare empty. I couldn’t believe it. There were no warnings or signs telling us half the museum was under renovation. Again, I was bit upset and ended up leaving the museum. In all, I was inside the place for about an hour (maybe less). This is a museum that should have taken at least 3 hours to go through I would think.

From there, I walked across Ponte Vecchio again and window shopped a bit more. Eventually, I made my way back to Piazza del Duomo and climbed Giotto’s Bell Tower for an amazing view of the city and Duomo itself. While up there, it actually was snowing. I’m just glad it didn’t start raining because that would have been miserable.

After climbing back down, I walked around and found the street markets (somehow I completely missed them before or they just weren’t around due to the holidays). I must have walked through 4 or 5 times and can’t even count how many times I was haggled to try to buy something. I did some awesome negotiating (or so I think) and finally left the market to grab some lunch.

From lunch, I went to the train station, bought my ticket back to Rome and had about an hour to spare back at the hotel with the good ‘ol internet from where I am posting this now.

From the Rome station I will catch the Leonardo express back to the airport and grab a taxi to my hotel. Tomorrow at 6am, I will be on a plane heading back to San Francisco. I will probably write one final post to conclude the trip. I hope everyone that was following my footsteps enjoyed these updates as much as I did writing them and keeping you informed. I have taken over 4,200 pictures (I eventually had to go through and delete the rejects due to space issues on my laptop). Some of these will make there way to this blog and some others will make their way onto Flickr and possibly Facebook as well. Knowing me, it’ll probably take me about a year to go through and finish all of them, if not longer, so be patient. I just hope the little taste I have given throughout these updates has kept your pallet wet.

Lastly, thanks for reading and being a part of my adventures. If you are only subscribed to the Travel Diaries feed, you can stay subscribed as I will use this feed again for future travels or feel free to subscribe to the main Korn on the Blog feed (or via email) to stay up-to-date with my blog in general.

As the Italians say, Ciao! Or as I always say…

Till next time…

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