Florence

We woke up very early this morning and made a quick breakfast so that we could bring our bags to our new hotel for the night, and still be at the Academia before the huge crowds arrive. Our new hotel, the Florence Dome Hotel, is up many, many steps. The room would turn out to be small and the bathroom smelled of moldy cucumber. It was not the best. However, the breakfast was great and the people working at the hotel were extremely nice and accommodating. It is also located just about a block away from the Accademia gallery. We arrived at the gallery just in time, cause the lines kept growing longer and longer as we waited. We did not have to wait long and were quickly let into the gallery. The show-stopper in this gallery is Michelangelo’s David statue. It was certainly more impressive that I expected. The details were exquisite. You could even see the veins in his arms.
We then went to the other not-to-be-missed art gallery, the Uffizi. This museum is loaded with Renaissance paints and statues. The museum contains art by some of the most famous Renaissance artist, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, etc.
We had lunch near the Uffizi and just outside of the Galileo museum. Lunch was just some sandwiches, but it was pretty good and the sitting was AWESOME! It was so needed as our feet and backs were again in throbbing pain from standing and walking so much.
Since we were right next to theĀ Galileo museum, we decided to check it out next. This turned out to be one of my favorite museums of the trip. It was filled with the Medici collection of scientific tools such as old thermometers, telescopes, scales, astrolabes, sextants, globes, different types and the evolution of gears (Dylan says I should be calling these escapements-the set of gears that keep time), etc. It was really interesting and impressive to see the creativity of the people who developed these devices. The engineers also seemed to be artists, making their tools not only useful, but also beautiful. They were often made of bronze or beautifully stained wood.
After the Galileo museum, we went across the Vecchino bridge and wandered over to the Pitti Palazzo. This was the home of the di Medici family once it was decided that Palazzo Vecchino did not have enough nice green space. To avoid walking among the common people in the streets, the Medici’s had a raised walkway build between Palazzo Vecchino and Pitti Palace. It ran over the top of the shops on the Vecchino bridge. This is not a particularly short distance between these two palaces, but I guess if you have the money, why not build it.
Anyways, Pitti palace was grand and beutifully decorated. The palace is made up of a number of museums and was a bit confusing on what was the best route to take through the palace. So we first wandered out into the Boboli gardens to the Porcelain museum. Then we went back to the palace and walk through the costume museum, which was filled with early 20th century clothing. There were some spectacular dresses. Then we moved on to the Palantine gallery and a few of the other museums before we were completely broken from tiredness.
We just stayed on the other side of the river and did some people watching in the plazas. We found a really good looking bakery and had some deserts while sitting on a wall overlooking a piazza and listened to music. When 6pm rolled around, we went to Archea brewery, a local microbrewery company and bar. I had a great milk stout and Dylan had a double bock. We met a couple from New Zealand and another couple on their honeymoon from Long Island. Had a lot of fun chatting with them and the bar owner/brewer.
Once we were feeling good again, we went to dinner at a trattoria recommended by the brewery owner down a narrow alley. It probably would have been impossible to just stumble upon. We had some really good food here.
So after a wine at lunch, 1.5 beers with 7.8% alcohol, and another wine at dinner, I stumbled home. On the plus side, all that alcohol made my Italian suddenly become good! Funny that.

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