Kiddle Family - November 2012

Sunday, 3 March 2013

February 13

Day 44

Our day to explore Florence.

First off.... a couple pictures to show our Hotel room.  With each hotel we stayed in, we progressively got bigger (thankfully).   London (which I don't think I posted pictures of), was so tiny, there was only a foot of space around the bed and not much more.   This one in Florence felt nice and roomy.

I love these!  Only our hotels in Italy had them.  Hot water runs through them making the towels nice and hot.
Our Hotel.  Porta Faenza.  And the little street it was on.
 We started the day out by going for a walk, doing some shopping at the markets in the street and visiting the Galleria Dell Academia.   The Galleria Dell Academia has some of the oldest musical instruments in the world and it also has the original David statue.  I was very surprised at the size of the statue.  It was a good 15 feet high, if not more.  Sorry, no pictures inside the Galleria Dell Academia (though there were two other copies of the David statue that were in public areas that we took pictures of, but the original was in this little museum)
Unusual building.  American money stuck on the outside of the building.  Why is it on there?  Why do people not take it off? (well, all the lower bills have all been removed, but still, surely someone would be motivated to get the higher stuff?)
Doing some shopping.   Cam bought a leather belt.  I bought a silk scarf.  A few items for the kids.

Outside the Galleria Dell Academia.  I had just found a geocache in this location
Next we went and saw the Duomo and the Baptistry.   Very cool buildings.   Lots of detail inside and outside of the Duomo.   Actually, we might have spent the most time inside the Duomo.  The paintings on the ceiling were really amazing and actually, really quite odd.  I spent a lot of time wondering why the paintings were painted the way they were.  In particular, the bottom part of the dome on the ceiling had a painting of Hell and it was quite disturbing.  Yikes!   We walked up the hundreds of stairs to the top of the Duomo and enjoyed the beautiful view of Florence.  The stairs in there were crazy narrow and dark and it made for some fun trying to pass strangers.  Ha ha.   At the top, we met another LDS family and had a brief visit with them.
And we didn't actually get to go inside the Baptistry.  It was under construction inside and they weren't admitting anyone.  Too bad.
The very top of that large dome is where we walked up to and had the view from

Details.  That angel didn't look very happy.  I wonder why?

The ceiling of the dome.   Amazing!
Spent a lot of time looking at this ceiling.  We had a good place to view it when we were walking up to the top of the dome.  The bottom of this mural was, well, creepy.
Steep and narrow stairs!!

Beautiful views of Florence from the top of the dome

Very golden Baptistry doors.
Baptistry door detail

From the Duomo, we went for a walk to Piazza della Signora (one of the two duplicate David statues was located here) and we went through the Uffizi (sorry,  no pictures inside)  And can I add, there's some, um, interesting statues here.  ha ha.

We then headed over to Ponte Vecchio.  A very cool bridge that had a lot of (expensive) jewelry stores, but also some pretty amazing views.

So beautiful!!  This was the view from the middle of Ponte Vecchio

A geocache right on the bridge with an amazing view.

By this point, it was starting to get dark and it was almost sunset.  This was one of the few times that we actually decided to splurge and get a taxi up to Piazza Michelangelo.  How happy we were because the sunset up there with such an amazing view was a fantastic way to end of the day.  Oh, and here we learned a lesson about public transit... buses, you need to buy tickets in advance and cannot buy them on a bus (as we thought originally that we could take the bus back down.... so we were very thankful there was still a taxi in the area)
The last of the David statues.
A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.   Need I say more?

Love this tree!!  And a beautiful sunset.
Wish you were there?
One of my favorite pictures from our trip, among many.

And that wraps up our day of sight-seeing in Florence.   We LOVED Florence.   And the last thing we did was go for dinner.  We debated on where to go, but ended up picking a little restaurant that was just a couple doors down from our hotel.  It looked so nice whenever we walked by.  I don't know how restaurants survive... we were the only ones in there for a very long time.   And not only was it a lovely restaurant to look at, but it also had THE BEST dinner there.  It's been a few weeks and I still can't stop thinking about how good dinner was.   Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

The best food ever!  So good!  We shared all our food equally, that way we could try more.
Our appetizer.   Yum!

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