Tuesday, July 03, 2012

2012 Italy - Day 12 - Florence

The day in Florence was probably one of the most ambitious of the trip.

Based on Holly's recommendation, Sharon had purchased Florence Cards. It took us about 20 minutes to get them on Monday, but the cards were well worth the effort and the expense. The cards allowed us to enter the museums in the reservations line. It probably saved us more than 1 1/2 hours of waiting in lines over the course of the day.

Up early, we had a quick bite at the hotel. From there, we headed to the Galleria dell'Accademia. This small gallery contains a number of Michelanglo's works, including the David. I have to agree with Sharon that the David is the most amazing work of art that I have either seen. It has to be seen in person to be believed...

From there, we went to the Uffizi. This is a large gallery that claims to contain the finest selection of Italian art in the world. In addition to The Birth of Venus by Botticelli and Michelanglo's only surviving easel painting, I found three Caravaggios: Bacchus; Sacrifice of Isaac and Medusa. It took us about two hours to get through the Uffizi.

After leaving those two museums, Morgan summed up the experience in her tweet that read:

morgan heringer (@morganheringer)
7/3/12 12:28
saw the david and the birth of venus, dont really have any reason left to live, bye

We made one more quick stop before lunch at the Bargello Museum. This is the major sculpture museum of Florence. In particular, Sharon wanted to see Donatello's David.

We had a nice lunch on the Piazza della Signoria at the Cirus Cafe. Sharon and I both had interesting salads. After lunch, Sharon and Morgan wandered off to do some shopping, while Jack and I went to look for soccer jerseys.

Everyone met back at the hotel room. I went out for a walk about to the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. It contains an interesting piece by Tommaso Masaccio--The Trinity--that Sharon and I had seen on our previous trip. Walking back I scoped out the location of the restaurant where we had made reservations.

Back at the room, Jack wanted to the visit the Boboli Gardens. We went across the Ponte Vecchio and into the gardens. The highest points in the garden have some great views of Florence. We wandered through the gardens, including walking through a porcelain museum before it was time to get back to the room.

After getting cleaned up, we had a quick drink at the hotel and then headed to dinner. We took Jack and Morgan to Il Latini. Sharon and I had a memorable dinner there on our honeymoon in 1996 and wanted to go back. We had a great meal. It is a family style restaurant. For the main course, the waiter brought a patter that contained all of the different meats that they were serving that night. It was noisy and loud and a great experience. Although we had the hotel make a reservation, Jack and I pushed our way to the front of the line and got seated fairly quickly.

We finished the night wandering back along the Arno River. It was a beautiful evening with a full moon!

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