28 June 2011

Day 24: Firenze!

S and I made it to the train station and on board the 10.45 to Firenze. On the train, we met a family from DC who was just starting out their vacation: Firenze, Sorrento, Rome, and many smaller cities, all in 12 days (with two young boys!). Yikes!

(The Florentine train station: retro on the inside. fascist on the outside)

Our day in Firenze with Liz was terrific! We met her in Piazza Republica, and she took us to a yummy spot for lunch. Appetizers were melon, prosciutto, salumi, and liver/toast. The meal was ravioli. Dessert was a torte. Then, biscotti and booze.

After lunch. Liz took us to the Duomo for a little bit of history talking. She's a full-time art historian, so she knows this stuff pretty well. We talked about the outside of the church, the inside, the wool merchants, bible stories, drawing in perspective, wars, battles, balls, and foot traffic.

(The Duomo lurks in the background, like a rust-colored Stay-Pufft Marshmallow Man)

(Inside the Duomo)

(More history)

So much talking that we deserved some coffee!

Post-coffee was a time for shopping. S bought a cute pair of shoes and a scarf (I bought a silk tie earlier). We bought a couple of gifts for some people back home, sniffed inside a chocolate shop, and headed across the river for an afternoon cocktail (the sun was brutally hot today,so many breaks were in order). I had a Campari & soda, Liz had a Campari & OJ, and S had a fruit smoothie (with a whole passionfruit as a garnish!).

(John the Baptist, in one of the few modern pieces of sculpture in town)

Post-cocktail, we headed across the river to check out some more beautiful statuary and learn us some history. Liz is exceptionally knowledgeable, and she was able to answer all of our weirdo questions with (what seemed to us to be) exceptional skill.

(S rubbing the Boar's nose, ensuring another trip to Italy - this is slightly grosser than throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain)

(S and Liz enjoying the long shadows of early evening)

(This is not the real David. It is a digital reproduction of a record of light hitting a sensor, having bounced off a copy of THE David)

(I don' t know what this is, but it freaked me out)

(The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival Parade would be much more exciting if all of the King Neptunes had to be naked)

On the way back to the train station, we picked up some pizza for the rails. Back at the train station, we tried unsuccessfully to change our train reservation back to Rome (we missed our earlier train, but knew we could just rebook). Liz helped us navigate the computer system, but it failed us. Then, she tried to talk to a clerk, but the clerk office closed. Finally, she talked to the conductor of our new train, explained that both the computer kiosk and the human beings failed us. The conductor took pity on us and let us board our new train without rebooking.

The pizza was great! S had a margherita pie, and I had a siciliano pie (eggplant, tomato, cheese, and goodness). The pizza place we got takeout from apparently had part of Jersey Shore filmed at it, so keep your eye out for Pizzeria O'Vesuvio, if you like watching crap TV.

I'm typing from the train home right now. iPads rock! Colosseum tomorrow!

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