Day 13 (February 17th)

We wanted to get out of the house early today so we could put a full day in Florence, so we didn’t make it to the café for our morning post.  Oh well, I think only my mother reads this anyway.  XXOO

We were delayed a few minutes as our new friend, Ollie the cat, made it difficult for us to close the shutters by trying to get in every time we opened the windows to do so.  We know his name is Ollie, because his owner was calling to him from the next rooftop.  Ollie ignored her as he clearly found us far more interesting.

The GPS was in fine form this morning and led us a merry chase hither and yon.  We breezed through intersections that clearly indicated our destination was in the opposite direction, and sped through towns with roads barely wide enough for a single car to pass, but traffic was definitely flowing both ways.  Mitzi shrieked and gasped whenever we flew straight towards a stone wall and suddenly swerved away at the last possible second, missing it by inches.  Events like this occurred approximately every 30 seconds while traveling through a town.

I asked Mitzi what she thought of Itialian Drivers.  “They are crazy!” she says, “They don’t obey the rules.”  While I agree that Italian drivers do not appear to obey any rule of the road we might recognize, I think there must be an Italian rulebook that is distributed only to Italians.  Otherwise, we would have seen 5 or 6 head-on collisions per day.

Anyway, I enjoyed today’s drive, and the parking lot was easy to find and access.  It was a half-hour walk from the centre of town, but I was okay with that too.

From the look of things, Florence deserves at least a week, if not more.  The weather was stunnining, so Jill and I dropped Mitzi of at the Uffizi and headed for the Boboli Gardens.  We had a very enjoyable walk in the sun, but the gardens pale in comparison with Kyoto, but then, what garden doesn’t?  I did like the large deep pools and statuary.

I asked Mitzi for a review of the Uffizi.  She says it’s amazing and she was glad to see so many originals of famous artwork.  She spent 3 hours but could have spent all day.  She saw so many busts and statues that her eyes lost focus and began to water.  She claims to have seen “almost” all of the paintings, but Jill and I have doubts.  Mitzi cannot believe that one can see so many famous paintings for only 6.50 euros.  Personally, I think a much better deal was the book with all of the Uffizi paintings in it that she stole from the gift shop, “no one was there so I took it,” she says in her defense.

Okay, okay, she paid for it, but she actually bought an Italian version, and noticed in the bathroom.  She went back into the gift shop and switched them herself, “no one was there so I switched it,” she says in her defense.  I liked my version better.

Re-united, we headed for the Galleria dell’Accadamia to see Michelangelo’s David.  It was a good thing Jill spotted the Gallery, because I would have walked right past it.  It was just a door in an otherwise un-adorned wall.  I guess when you have such a sought after work of art inside, there’s no need to spend money on an attractive façade to lure people in.

David was strangely magnetic.  I probably could have sat there and stared for half an hour or more.  For me, that’s rare.  There were at least 20 people with sketch books in hand, making their impressions of the masterpiece.  A little shoulder surfing showed that some of them were quite good themselves.  Also interesting were the four unfinished statues on the way to David.  It was neat to see a work in progress, so to speak.  It is hard to imagine that a finished statue was once just a chunk of rock, and these four works tied the art to the medium.

On our way back to the car, we walked through a street market.  One stall owner offered us a family discount, which was pretty nice of him I suppose, but we politely declined and carried on our way.

The drive back was good, and diner was excellent.  The fresh pasta place was finally open, so I cleaned him out of Tagliatelle and we made a carbonara with local pancetta to go with it.  The pancetta was unbelievably salty, but very tasty.



One thought on “Day 13 (February 17th)

  1. Hey, I’m reading it! Glad to hear you guys are having so much fun on your trip 🙂 If you like the driving there, you can come to Calgary and let Chris drive sometime, it’d be just like Italy I imagine.


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