Florence: Day 2
by Céleste | June 10, 2015
Day two in Florence! This city is humid and hot, with lots of mosquitos. Be prepared. Being from Minnesota/North Dakota though, we weren’t phased too much. We started our day off with a breakfast of pastries and fruits at a little café around the corner from our apartment. After that, we were on our way to another full day!
Museo di Accademia
We started out our day at the Museo di Accademia, to which we had advance tickets. I recommend buying your tickets in advance; the line was incredibly long, and we had read it could take up to two hours just to stand in line to get in!
We walked around, looking at artwork from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, mostly pictures of Mary and Jesus, with some Judith and Holofernes thrown in for good measure.
The real draw of the Accademia, of course, is Michelangelo’s David. It’s huge. Much bigger than you expect. His hands are not proportional to his body, and my niece and I giggled as we walked around the back to see his butt.
After David, we wandered around, not really as interested anymore. Except my sister, who loves art and the Renaissance. She’s a weirdo.
The Duomo (um, sort of)
Next stop, the Duomo! We wanted to go in and check out the inside, including the painting entitled “Dante and His Poem.” We stood in line and watched as street vendors tried to sell scarves to everyone in line. We thought it was kind of funny, because it wasn’t really cold out, but they tried miming to my sister that she should purchase one. They didn’t speak English though, and we didn’t discover the problem until we got to the entrance, where a young Italian security guard told us that several of the people in our party couldn’t enter due to wearing shorts and having bare shoulders. My sister, understandably, was angry. We left to change, and with much muttering about sexism and double standards, we got back in line and entered the Duomo.
It was dark and quiet, and the inside of the dome was fantastic. There was a recording of someone saying, “shhhhhhhh” that played occasionally, which kind of freaked me out the first time I heard it. We walked through, checked out the gift shop, and saw the painting my sister was so excited about (t0p left).
Piazza di Michelangelo
After, we walked across the Ponte Vecchio again and headed to the Piazza di Michelangelo, a plaza overlooking the city, with beautiful views of all of Florence.
While we stood and took pictures, the sky abruptly changed from clear to full-on storm clouds. We discovered during our trip that this is quite common, as Florence is in a sort of valley. We rushed back into the city and made it back to the apartment right as it started to pour! It was an adventure to navigate back in the rain, and try to stand under the eaves of the apartments as we went. When we reached the apartment, we opened up a bottle of Moscato d’Asti, my mother’s favorite sweet wine.
The Yellow Bar
For dinner, we went to The Yellow Bar, a pasta bar which looks like a tourist trap but was excellent. I had a tomato ravioli, while Vincent had a spicy tagliatelle. Everything was excellent! A tip for Italy: while the French will provide you with a carafe d’eau (carafe of water) for free, the Italians will not. Expect to pay 2–3 euros for a bottle of water to share.
Walking through the shopping district and along the river
To end our night, we walked through the shopping district and tried to guess how much the items in the windows would cost. We saw bags that were in the thousands, $600 shoes, and dresses for $400. We saw Gucci, Fendi, and more as we walked. A bit too expensive for my taste, especially after a six-month sabbatical.
We ended our night by walking along the Arno River, then headed home to play a round of Monopoly Deal. A busy and perfect day in Florence!