After breakfast, it was off to the train station for a four minute ride to the bus station. In typical Italian fashion, the train was fifteen minutes late and they changed platforms. Down the steps again and up and we were in the right place. One short coffee/bathroom stop and we were in Florence around one. We could not check into our room until later, so we dropped off our bags and were in search of the nearest Tourist Information (TI) office for a museum pass. After a short search for the TI, we found it but it closed at noon on Saturday. Some directions got us to a location for the museum passes. Success!
Since we were near the Ponte Vecchio bridge, we crossed. The bridge is lined with jewellery shops. This is the only bridge in Florence that was not destroyed as the Germans retreated during World War II. The buildings at either end were destroyed to impede crossing. On the other side of the bridge are more of the craftsmans’ shops. We saw stone mosaics and paintings.
We have been hearing horror stories about the lines for the museums in Florence. We decided to go to the Accademia to see Michaelangelo’s David. With the pass, we were in the museum in less than five minutes. The museum is small but David is truly impressive at seventeen feet tall. Michaelangelo was a master. From there, it was back to the hotel for a short call with Greg.
Dinner was great again. You have to love a place that has signs “NO AMERICAN FOOD HERE” and Beef Steaks (Rare Only) “PLEASE Be Kind and Respect Tradition!!! DO NOT ASK TO COOK THE MEAT MORE!!! … WE DON’T DO IT!!! … AND NO CAPPUCCINO PLEASE!!!”. We shared a meat and cheese antipasto. Then Dolora had Sliced Beef Sirloin and Balsamic Vinegar, while I had Pappardelle Homemade with Wild Boar. This was some of the best pasta I have ever had. Finished with a dark chocolate cake. Today was the first day that i have made it through with no gelato!
A short stop at the hotel bar for a drink with a couple of folks from the tour group and off to bed.
One of the things I find interesting is the Anglicised names of the Italian cities. Florence is Firenze in Italian. Venice is Venezia. The Italian names seem more appropriate.
Our tour only includes hotels and transportation. The hotels are all smaller and right in the middle of the sites. The location makes all the difference with the short time in each place. That’s the way to do it. We don’t spend lots of time getting to and from the hotel and sights.