On to Florence! Beautiful Florence with its art; many fortuitous encounters awaited my owner, though she did not know this at the time. David, Venus, the architecture, sleeping in a monastary overlooking the city, roosters crowing and dogs barking as the sun came up over one of the world's most beautiful cities. The first long bus ride with the other passengers revealed a few interesting characters. A couple of them had already made themselves known during breakfast with one of them telling My Owner "We share the same energy!" This didn't exactly thrill MO as this woman's "energy" seemed to be of the clinically insane sort.
They arrived in Florence after dark and the lumbering coach climbed a narrow road on a steep hill. The lights of the city became more sprawling with each moment. There was a dinner at some point and I heard talk of attractive Italian men. Eventually the massive vehicle crept into a narrow space at the edge of the road, we were unloaded (and none too soon, hours and hours with smelly luggage belonging to boys is hard to stomach) and the view was stunning. I was rather viciously dragged through a strange maze of hallways with odd sets of steps in the middle, serving no apparent purpose. The room was sparse and small. This hotel it seemed was a converted monastery.
|The key gets left at the desk because who wants to carry that around?|
Morning brought with it a beautiful sunrise and ...how best to describe?
|A wonderful surprise. The shutters opened to reveal...|
|Florence, in all her glory and an olive grove beneath their window.|
|Leaning out the window. A dog was barking and a rooster crowing.|
Off for the day in Florence....
They started the morning with a breakfast that included blood orange juice, which My Owner was pretty sure was the best thing she had ever tasted. She and her friend couldn't get enough, and croissants with Nutella, food can really make those two happy. But food shall be covered in its own post coming up shortly.
They had a guided tour in the morning of some of the more important points of interest including The Duomo,then after a perfect lunch at an outdoor cafe, the afternoon was free for museums and shopping. Mo was amazed at just how much got done on this day. Easily one of her best days ever.
The Ponte Vecchio is a medieval bridge over the Arno River...
This bridge is a famous place for lovers. They write their names or initials on locks and attach the locks to fences and other structures on the bridge. They then throw the key into the river symbolizing their eternal love. I can't help but wonder how many of them wish to go diving for them later on.
Loggia della Signoria o dei Lanzi:Many famous statues like , The Rape of the Sabine Women, are here.
The Uffizi: My Owner will relay a story about that, here.
Galleria dell'Accademia: This is where Michelangelo's David resides alongside countless other masterpieces.
Later in the evening walking back to the bus after dinner, a fellow traveler asked her what her favorite thing was she saw that day.
"David. I'm ruined for all other men."
Literally in this city famous for housing so much of the world's great art, the art is everywhere.
|This is on the street.|
BEWARE THE CURSE OF THE GYPSY!
While in line for the Uffizi a gypsy hag approached the group of travelers and began saying something they couldn't understand but panhandling and accosting tourists is a universal language so they all just said NO! repeatedly. MO's friend somehow managed to offend the hag during this process and the woman got very angry made some weird hand gestures spit in her hand and threw a curse at her!
...and museum ticket sellers with attitude.
After waiting to get into the Uffizi they finally made it to the ticket window and MO and the leader of their small group were rejected and told they would have to go back out to get into another line. Mo was thinking perhaps that curse outside had bounced off her friend. The woman was very rude and seemed angry with them. She called her supervisor (an attractive Italian man) over to explain to them (since they were obviously stupid Americans) WHY they couldn't enter just then, even though their friends did. He looked at MO and The Fearless Leader, the lady was chattering in Italian and they could only imagine what she might be saying about them. Suddenly he cut her off, and began to yell at her and say (some things are universally understood) "YOU WILL let them enter, you will stop being rude, and you will do it while I'm standing here." The look on her face said it all. MO and Fearless Leader were overjoyed. They had come to Italy and a man had fought for them! This idea made them very happy because of course, they are women, and such things amuse and delight them.