Sunday morning, we awoke early. I put on my swimming suit and swam a bit, then showered and was ready for Fierenze (Florence).
We managed to get to Flornce in good time, but then finding a place to park was a real bear. [Marcia says it was an hour to Florence, and an hour and fifteen minutes to find a parking place!] We did find a small garage and to our delight, discovered that parking was free on Sundays. We headed to the Duomo to meet up with Lisa (formerly Katie) Saunders.
Lisa was there in her P. Hill shirt and judiang was amazed we managed to meet up with not only a P. Hilligan, but also John's niece! Had to tell her that the meeting was preplanned. :-)
Several of us moved on to the Uffizi art museum to see the works there. Due to restroom concerns, we actually went through the museum backwards. The piece I most wanted to see was The Birth of Venus by Botticelli. We also saw some da Vinci stuff and Caravaggio works. I bought a photo of Venus and a magnet of Caravaggio's Medusa. (Interestingly, it's painted on a shield-shaped object.)
We caught up with folks after Ufizzi and we headed to a cafe for lunch. I ate with Dave and Mary and had spinach pizza (very American pizza, I thought) and fruit juice. Not too bad, and IIRC, around €10.
After lunch, we milled around til we were near the Accademia dell' Arte del Disegno where David is held captive. We said farewell to Lisa and some of us went to the Accademia. Both the Ufizzi and Accademia cost money (cash). €10 for Ufizzi and €11 for the Accademia (or less, if we wanted to wait in line forever). Most of the Accademia was just "eh" but man, getting to see Michelangelo's David - wow! The Botticelli was bigger than I expected - and so was David! Truly impressive art.
When we left the Accademia, I saw someone selling the Rainbow Pace flags. I'd wanted one since I saw it in Rome. I decided if it was around €10, I'd get it. I asked and it was €25. I was shocked and walked away quickly. But he found me and asked what I wanted to pay. I said "no more than €10." He changed to €15, but that was still too high. I suggested 12, he countered with 13. Just then, Jo walked by. "What do you think?" I asked her. "No more than €10" she said. "You offered €12," he said. I looked in my wallet to see slim pickin's (€20) but bought the flag. [Wow, my first ever time haggling. I made sure to never look for those flags again for fear of discovering I'd paid twice as much as I should have.]
We roamed back to our meeting place and spied a gelateria nearby. One that Judi was at. She said she got an Internet Point card and pointed me into the cafe. I bought a mint gelato and went to write on my LJ.
We met up again at the steps of the Duomo and headed back to our cars. We decided to hit Arezzo for supper and with a bit of effort, found a place to park. Marcia's book had some suggested restaurants to eat at, and we made our way there.
There was no one eating on the nonsmoking side, so that worried us a little. However, once we ordered the food and had our meals, we agreed it was a fine dinner. I had wild boar and polenta for supper and it was very good. And it was around €13 or so. I let Judi buy it for me and I paid the tip. We toasted to Ruth and Mike who were celebrating their 40th anniversary. We applauded the owner after supper.
That night, we sat at the kitchen table and crowed about the fab meal. Well, those of us who got there, that is. Ooops! Forgot to mention dessert, which was Fedora Rustica al Ciocolatto. Rustic hat with chocolate, I guess. Twas very yummy! :-)
So, what did I mean about "those of us who got there"? The Fishers were following Mike and the other two cars were ahead. Mike realized they'd not taken the left turn when they should have, so he got us safely back to the villa. So we waited half an hour for the Saunders to arrive and probably another half an hour for the Weavers.
Humourous aside: I entitled this LJ entry "Florence Y'all" for a reason. Florence, KY had a water tower that used to advertise the Florence Mall, but they got in trouble with the other businesses in town (or somesuch) and had to change it. So they turned the M into a Y'. Heh. It always made me chuckle when I'd see it. (And I seem to recall the Florence Mall had a nice record store.)
So, onto photos. Most are of the Duomo, which is a really impressive dome on a really impressive cathedral. Pink and green - more churches should be pink and green. There's also a shot of the very narrow streets in Florence. Just picture 4 cars driven by American tourists trying to find parking, when you look at the narrow street shot. :-)
Here's Lisa in her P. Hill shirt! Small world, eh?
Couldn't take a photo of the real David, so I made do with the Fake David.
The tower at the Cathedral known for its Duomo.
The Duomo itself, currently under rennovation.
Florence sure has narrow streets! So medieval! So claustrophobic!
In other news, Amy & Rachel come to town tonight! Woot! They're off to a wedding in Archbald on Saturday, so they're staying at the Lake while they're in Ohio. Shame I have to work tomorrow, but I'll get to spend Friday evening and, I think, Sunday day with them.