The alarm went off as scheduled and after a quick breakfast and a long walk, we were off to visit Florence. Our first stop was the Academie which is the home of Michelangelo’s David. There were other paintings and sculptures in the museum, but David was the main attraction and we were not disappointed. It is truly magnificent – viewed from all angles. We also saw a number of Michelangelo’s “unfinished” works – the reasons why he had so many he didn’t finish is debatable.
After viewing Davd, we proceeded to the Dumo, the Cathedral of Florence. There was a long line – it took 57 minutes to get to the front door – I timed it. Once inside, it was an impressive structure – built in the early 1400’s, it has a spectacular dome designed by Brunellichi and was at one time the largest church in Europe. It was beautiful, but as usual, I am not appreciative of such architectural structures. Our next stop was the Baptistry across the street from the cathedral. Here the ceilings were more lavishly decorated (paintings and intricate molded frames), but once again, I am not appreciative.
After we all had lunch at a cafeteria, seated outdoors (Judy & I shared a pizza and I fake shared her desert), we proceeded to the Vecchio Palace – again lots of sculptures and paintings and you can imagine my level of interest.
We then had a little free time and we went to the Ponte Vecchio (bridge) which was something like the Rialto in Venice – wide bridge with lots of shops. We took a photo and then went in search of a diet coke. We eventually found one and sat down on some stone steps to rest and enjoy, but were promptly chased away because they only allowed water there (!). So we walked on, eventually found a bench, enjoyed our coke and waited for others to arrive for our walk (another long one) back to the bus.
The ride back to Gimignano was the quietest we’ve had – we all were extremely tired from a long day. We had dinner on the sidewalk outside our hotel with the Smiths (Judy ravioli, Joe lasagna) and have now retired to our room for the night. We were going to enjoy a glass of the wine we bought yesterday at the winery, but alas, no corkscrew! So, instead I’m completing my journal for the day. As you can probably tell, this was not my favorite, but seeing the statue of David was a redeeming grace, and of course, the company was as good as ever with our fellow travelers. Tomorrow we leave Gimignano for Rome, stopping to tour in Assisi on the way. But we don’t have to get up as early ….. better still set the alarm.