**NOTE: Thanks to my friend Rachel M for pointing out my spelling and grammatical errors. I normally write these posts late at night after school and work, so I’m sure that the errors are plentiful. At least you can enjoy the pictures?? 🙂
WEDNESDAY || Firenze!!! My oh my, Firenze, or Florence as we call it in English is absolutely gorgeous! Side Note: Why do we change the names in English? I mean how hard is it to call Milan Milano, Rome — Roma, or Florence it’s true name, Firenze?
Ok, on with the story. So we got up early and caught the bus to Arezzo at 7:12AM, yes I remember the EXACT time. So, Sarah and I allowed 15 minutes to walk from Chiara’s to the Palazzo where we were to meet Beks and Vivian. We got up and had a light breakfast of banana yogurt and little bread like crackers with peach jam and some deliciously thick pear juice. It was still really dark walking through Sansepolcro and no one was awake and nothing was open. It was a nice, serene, kind of hauntingly beautiful walk. Beautiful because Sansepolcro is gorgeous with all of it’s historical buildings and mountains in the distance and haunting because it was totally empty and dark and all of the stores were shut up. We met up with Bekah and walked to the bus station together and then pretty much conked out on the bus. Then once we got to Arezzo we bought our train tickets to Firenze and slept some more for the two hours it took to get there.
When we arrived in Firenze, Bekah being the expert tour guide that she is, led us to the information station. She clued us in and told us that if we were ever in doubt or lost to look for the little white, italic “i” inside the blue circle. So, we all got handy maps of the city and mapped out our day so that if anyone got separated, she would be able to meet us at the next destination. Isn’t she smart? First stop was the Accadamia. Again, we were very glad to have Bekah as our tour guide because she knew that we didn’t have to stand in the SUPER long line to buy tickets to get in. Yes, all of the throngs of people in the massive line were all waiting for hours to see the David Statue. But we were smart and bought our tickets at a nearby museum (this took all of five minutes). So we had reservations and walked right in, like magic! Hooray for us!
See those people up there? Haha, they had to wait because they didn’t have the insider information that we did! 🙂 You really can’t even see the end of the line in this picture. Also, the Accadamia really doesn’t look like much from the outside. However, it houses some wonderful art. There were some great original plasters that artists used before they actually cut into the stone. There was also a wonderful Robert Maplthorpe photography exhibit and a ton of other really cool stuff. Of course there was the David as well. The statue itself is so much bigger than I expected it to be.
After I finished perusing the gallery I felt like I was going to faint from a lack of nourishment (remember I only had yogurt and toast for breakfast and that had been hours ago). Sarah and Vivian and I had all gone our separate ways in the Accadamia and Bekah, since she had already been and it was expensive, went to get a cappuccino and sit in her favorite piazza. We decided on a meeting time outside the building and planned to find each other around noon. I exited around 11:45am and saw Sarah outside too. So we went around the corner and got a midmorning snack of a panino and an orange soda. We devoured it and then went back to wait for the others. After the Accadamia we made our way to a ceramics shop that we had spotted earlier. Let’s just say that I spent an enormous chunk of money at that little shop!
Not only did I spend a chunk of money in there, but also a chunk of time and by the end of it our stomachs were growling and begging for some lunch! We found another little bar where we grabbed another sandwich and water. Then we found a sunny spot to sit, eat and people watch. We spotted a dog that looked just like Bekah and Sarah’s dog, Callie!
The rest of the day we just wandered around the city and enjoyed the pretty weather (even if it was a bit cold) and did some more shopping. We also went to the Duomo in Firenze. It was gorgeous and BIG! We couldn’t go inside, but the outside was pretty magnificent. The baptistry doors were made of gold and had scenes from the Bible carved in them.
Then we went to the Ponte Vecchio. We crossed the Arno and walked over to the Ponte Vecchio from the other side of the River. Here are a couple of pictures…
As you can see in the picture above, there is an enclosed corridor above the bridge. This was installed in the 16th century by the Medici family so that they could cross the river in order to go from their two palaces without having to come across commoners. The palace on the main side of the city is now the Uffizi, which is one of the most prominent art museums in Italy. The Medici’s also got rid of the butcher’s that had shops on the bridge and replaced them with jewelers and gold merchants. Today, many of the stores on the Ponte Vecchio sell fine jewelry and gold.
I bought Jackson and my dad some stuff here…Fun Store! Well Firenze was great, so beautiful. I loved it. We went back to Sansepolcro and had dinner with Patrizio, Sara and family that evening. We had pasta, Salmon with a delightful creamy sauce and tomatoes. We also had bread and cheese and something for dessert. It was good. Next up: Citta di Castello