After arriving at our hotel, we took a walk down the road (the street that our hotel was on led us right into the old center of town (Piazza della Signora). We saw some very colossal and interesting statues of men in erotic poses (not what the sculptor intended?) just outside of the palace of the Medici family--once, the most powerful ruling family in Florence and surrounding Italian city-states
. We then walked to the Arno, to take a few pictures of the river and caboom, someone (we won't say which of us), lost grip on the camera and it fell down on its lens. We spent some time looking for a store that would service our Canon--no luck. All of the cameras in Florence are more than double what they cost at home, so we decided to use our video camera, which also takes still pictures, until we could find a good buy. This evening, we decided to drown our sorrows in a few drinks back at our hotel room, and thought that a good ol'e McDonald's meal would help us cope even better. All in all, it could have been worse--we could have lost the camera (including the SD card). Then again, Paul has ensured that we have back up of all of our photos and videos, as he is now the master of computers and electronics.
The next morning, Paul booked our train tickets to our next destination and looked around once again for a few camera options--no luck. We returned to the scene of the unfortunate accident, and both felt the mild feelings of disgust from within as we approached the unfortunate site (one of us is going to kill the other right now, for the dramatics in this blog)! We walked along the river and found a little deli where we could grab a sandwich before heading to the Uffizi gallery for our 1:00pm reservation (a reservation is the only way you can avoid standing in line for three hours, and it must be made some time in advance)
. The gallery is beautiful and houses the greatest collection of Italian paintings anywhere (works by Giotto, Leonardo, Raphael, Michaelangelo). It is itself a historical relic, as we saw paintings that were moved to the Uffizi in 1672. The museum is nowhere near as big as it is great, but we still managed to spend over two hours inside. The courtyard outside the gallery is full of artists, performers, and souvenir stalls. After the gallery, we returned to our hotel to freshen up, have a few drinks, and watch Federer beat Del Potro in the semi-finals of the French Open . We then headed out for a mini-walk at night, and had Kebab platter for dinner (we missed it--we hadn't had one since Germany). Before bed, we watched a few epsiodes on the Chimp Channel, and tried to contain our laughter so as not to wake other guests in the rooms beside us. Aunt Mary, if you download "Chimp Channel" in google, Nonna will be in tears.
We are at our next destination, and shoud have a blog up shortly.
We see you, eh?
P & J
We weren't going to stop in Florence (known as Firenze, to Italians), as we thought we could get a better view of the Tuscan region going a bit further South, but we couldn't bear listening to people ask us why we didn't go when we were right there? We're pleased we stopped in. Florence has a Renaissance feel, and the best of it lies mostly on the north bank of the Arno River. All of the major historical sights are seen around the red-brick dome of the cathedral, and are all within a twenty-minute walk of the cathedral, or Ponte Vecchio (old bridge).