Friday, April 20, 2007

April 11th - Almost missed the train to Florence today. Stacey had trouble finding a bathroom and then it turned out to be a pay toilet and she didn't have any change. We made it on the train with just a minute or two to spare.

Once we got to Florence, everything was good. Found the hotel OK (Hotel Spagne) and wandered around Florence for the afternoon. Florence has the best food so far in Italy - both meals we had here were quite good. Florence seems smaller and a little more relaxed than Rome and the people are the nicest we've met so far.

We didn't have reservations for some of the important art galleries to see but we decided to see if we could get in anyways. After a stop in the market by San Lorenzo, we went to the Acadamie where Michelangelo's David is located but the line was 2 hours in the hot sun so we walked around checking out the churches and architecture.

We went to another open air market, had gelato by the Arno river and then wandered over to the Ufizi gallery. The expected wait was only 45 minutes (in the shade) so we stuck around. Inside were paintings by Boticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, etc. Very cool, "best of the best" kind of stuff. My favourite was Boticelli's Birth of Venus.

When we got out, we dashed back across town to the Acadamie just before it closed and there was no line. Michelangelo's David is one of the few pieces of art I've seen that lives up to all it's hype. It was very moving and beautiful.

After that, we re-crossed town, crossed the river at Ponte Vecchio for a nice dinner.

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