Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Our Second Day in Firenze

I didn't sleep well the first night in Florence. Hotel Giglio wasn't exactly what I expected. The bed was extremely hard and narrow and the pillow wasn't much better. I woke up exhausted (and in desperate need of a cappuccino), but ready to see more of the city. The plan was to climb the 463 steps to the top of the Duomo before our 11:15AM reservation at the Uffizi Gallery.

The climb to the top of the Duomo was exhausting but the view was spectacular! I'm just glad we did it early in the morning before the weather warmed up and the crowds descended. I can't imagine navigating those narrow corridors and stairways with a crowd of people.

A closeup of the interior of the Duomo

Looking down on Florence - the Bell Tower of the Duomo

Church of San Lorenzo

Mom on her way down the narrow stairs of the Duomo

After our climb Mom & Chris went back to the hotel to get Grandma. Cyndy and I took off in our own directions for a bit. I found a cafe near Piazza della Signoria, had a cappuccino, wrote in my travel journal, and enjoyed a bit of alone time. I love traveling with my family but its good to have a bit of quiet time to myself too.

Soon it was time to meet up with everyone again for our reservation at the Uffizi Gallery. It was a great museum, so many beautiful pieces, but unfortunately pictures were not allowed. My favorite piece in the museum was the Birth of Venus by Botticelli.

We spent a couple of hours exploring the gallery and then found a small but nice restaurant a few blocks away from the Uffizi for a tasty lunch. After lunch Grandma was ready for a rest so Cyndy took her back to the hotel. Chris, Mom, & I wandered for a bit and then met up with Cyndy near the Ponte Vecchio. We decided to check out the Pitti Palace on the other side of the Arno River. We were mostly interested in exploring the gardens. Unfortunately you can't get into the gardens without purchasing tickets to the museum. It was already late in the afternoon so we decided to move on.

A lamp post outside of the Pitti Palace

Our wanderings took us back to the Arno River. We meandered, took pictures and enjoyed the scenery.

Another lamp-post near the Arno

We crossed back to the other side of the river and wandered some of the smaller, less touristy streets. We found the Biblioteca Natzionale and wandered into Piazza Santa Croce.

Santa Croce Church
This church looks a lot like a smaller version of the Duomo

We eventually made our way back to the hotel, got Grandma, and decided it was time to find dinner. We decided to play it safe since our experience the night before wasn't the best and we ended up at McDonalds. I've never been a huge McDonalds fan - at least until that night. I ate my first Big Mac ever, it was soooo good! I kind of wish I didn't know how good because now I crave them. (Yes, that was my first Big Mac. My fast food preferences in the states leaned towards In n Out and Jack in the Box.)

After our tasty dinner we made our way back to the hotel hoping for a better night of sleep than the last.

Now playing: Sara Evans - Suds in the Bucket
via FoxyTunes

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