Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Florence, David...Wait, What?

So we got up, caught breakfast, and headed out early as we had made reservations for the gallery for the earliest entry available. We stood in the short line for those who planned ahead feeling smug until we got inside and presented our reservation numbers to the guy in the ticket booth. He said that the reservation numbers we had weren't their format. Saying that we made the reservations on their website and those were the numbers that came in the email, he then said that the numbers looked like the ones used by the Gallerie del Venice. Yep that is right, Venice, where we just were. Convinced that we had the correct website, we marched back to the hotel to find the emails and the website ready to march back to the ticket guy in victory. We jumped on the website and at the top of the page it had the right name, sans city identifier of course, and we started to feel pretty good about it...then we clicked on the reservations page and our hopes were smashed. There in the center of the page, in caps and colored red were the words VENICE at least three times.

Pro tip: Don't make reservations when you are tired and ready to pass out, you are probably missing something completely obvious.

Taking the 30 Euro toilet flush in stride, we then headed out to reserve tickets at the door for Wednesday morning and to check out more things on our list of places to see that day. We walked to the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore...closed for services, open for tours at 1:30pm...hrm. Off to Basilica di Santa Croce...closed for services, open at 2pm...sigh. Lunch? Lunch sounded good at this point after walking around in 90 degree weather all over town so far.

After some food of sandwiches and a soda, we headed back to the Cattedrale, and we got there just as it was opening, long lines included. It was again a really impressive feat of construction and the entire fa├žade is done in differently colored marble slabs and sculptures. This is the building called the Duomo that is colored the same as the Cattedrale.

We then walked over to the Basilica again, and took a look around inside. Lots of famous people are buried in here, such as: Michelangelo, Donatello, Galileo, and Machiavelli. The all had spots of prominence around the outside wall, many others were buried in the floor with marble markers to cover the area. The weird part was that some areas were marked off so you could not walk on them, and in others there was almost no choice but to do so. Walking on graves is just plain creepy, and to do so in a place with signs near almost every pillar reminding you to be silent and respectful seemed a bit out of place.


We then went on a walk over the Ponte Vecchio, aka the Golden Bridge, mostly because the entire thing is pretty much covered with goldsmith and jewelry shops. It's the only original Florentine bridge left intact during World War II. The shops close up in a very unusual way.

Later we made our way to the Piazza del Mercato Centrale to eat at a place Jeff recommended called Tratorria ZaZa. Pretty good food, and they sell a cook book of recipes that they use in their kitchen! After that it was another late evening of trying to find more CouchSurfing hosts and coordinating a dinner meet up with another Surfer in Florence for some food the following night.


  1. You left me hanging! It's like a hook that they use in radio broadcasts to make to sit through commercials... HOW CRUEL! You finished your second to last paragraph with "The shops close up in a very unusual way." ... and that's it?? I must know more!!

    1. Oh wait... I should have looked at the picture that followed a little more closely...