Up fairly early on our third day in Italy. Packed our bags and went to the station to catch our train to Florence. It was a two hour ride, and we all enjoyed ourselves playing Phase 10, reading, and playing our game systems.
On our walk to the hotel, we were stymied by a political protest going on near the Duomo. The only street to our hotel was blocked by the crowds, so we sat down and enjoyed a drink with a view. We packed light, but a backpack and carryon per person makes all walks feel a little longer. When our way cleared, it was still too early for check in, but the hotel allowed us to store our bags until later.
Once we were back out on the streets, Josh wanted to go climb the bell tower. Our group split up; Josh, Arthur, and I to the bell tower, and mom, Tony, and Chiara went to Hard Rock Cafe Florence.
Josh insisted on the bell tower, claiming it was taller. I tried telling him the Duomo was taller, but he wouldn’t listen. It worked out for us anyway, as there were no more tickets available to climb the Duomo. 49 less steps, and an amazing view from the top, so I call it a win!
The three of us made good time to the top, enjoyed the view and the breezes for about 15 minutes, before making ou way down. Narrow staircases, and people traveling up and down, means you get very close to other people!
After the tower, we made our way to HRC to meet up with the others. We got some more drinks, climbing towers is thirsty work, then made our way to Ponte Vecchio. It’s a city street that is entirely built on a bridge.
We got our daily dose of gelato on our stroll too. We basically stumbled on the Uffizi, but mom and I were the only ones interested in more museums. Tony and Josh made their way back to the hotel with the kids, while mom and I conquered even more stairs in the Uffizi.
This was my favorite piece in the museum, although about halfway through, I began wondering where the David was. You would think, with all the research I did for this trip, I would’ve known the David is at the Accademia. Nope! We saw many amazing pieces, but neither of us were up for the walk to another museum, or another walk through. Mom bought me a puzzle piece magnet of David, so there is that.
After getting the kids and the guys, we enjoyed a delicious pizza dinner by the Duomo and some souvenir shopping. You can’t go to Florence and not get something leather. I ended up with a small leather bag in red, and I also picked up an Italian copy of Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. Tony and I broke away to try and get a nearby geocache. All of the others we had logged were virtual, and I wanted to sign at least on physical log. Success was ours!
Returned to the hotel, the kids were so excited because mom had taken them on the carousel on their way back. Arthur and Tony fell almost right to sleep. Chiara and I had some energy still to burn, so we went for a late night walk around the Duomo. I’m glad we did because it is beautiful at night! It reflects all of the light from surrounding buildings and looks like its glowing.
We spent some time watching a young man play on a recorder. Talent doesn’t care what instrument you are playing, it will make itself known! Its aways amazing to see what someone can do with simple instruments.
Once we got back to the hotel, we both fell asleep easily. Good thing too, since we had plans for the next day.