Back in Florence, Uffizi # 1, and Feeling Strange
Feb 15, 2002
Feb 24, 2002
We arrived at Milan, Malpensa, late, and took the bus to the train station in a light snow storm. Milan can get pretty cold being that far north. We arrived at the train station too late for our scheduled train to Florence, so I had to speak with a ticket agent to change the reservation. Ticket agents in Italy speak English very well, part of their training, but rather than do this myself, I deferred to my companion who spoke Italian perfectly. She was a bit miffed by this, assuming I would take care of everything, but having her around made me very lazy, very uncharacteristic for me traveling in Italy. The change was successful and we were off to Florence, albeit an hour later. We arrived in Florence and I immediately went to visit Lidia, which kind of perturbed my companion, my second mess up of the day in her eyes, and although she never expressed that to me, I could see she didn't want to start her trip with that introduction. It was very strange to be in Florence with another woman, having been 4 times previously with Wendy. I was happy once again to be back at my hotel, but it felt strange being with someone different and not being alone, as I had been the previous summer. We were given room 312 which added to the strangeness ! We hurried out for our first visit to the Uffizi. As we entered the museum and walked to the main floor we passed an exhibition displaying drawings by many Italian Renaissance Painters, especially Michelangelo. What a great thing, not only seeing that great work, but having it explained to me by an expert !!! We spent 2 hours there and since we hadn't seen anything else, agreed to return the next day for a better look. After also visiting the Churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Trinita, we arrived back at the hotel on the late side. The only place I knew where we could have a late bite was Grotto di Leo, so off we went, again to one of my old haunts. I recall us both having minestrone and pasta, with some wine. By then we were quite exhausted, so retired for the night.