Day 5: Rome to Florence
Florence Travel Blog› entry 5 of 11 › view all entries
"I'm looking forward to dinner in Chianti (slurp, slurp)." -- Brian said in his best Hannibal Lecter voice.
Today we head off to the famed region of Tuscany.
As we leave Rome we pass the Olympic Village of 1960. Interestingly, the idea of the Olympic Village was conceived by Il Duce himself 30 years before and it is here on the gymnasium where you can find the only remaining mention of Mussolini's name in the entire country.
It takes us about 3 1/2 hours to get to Florence in the heart of Tuscany. Once we arrive, I must admit it is nice and pretty, but frankly a little overrated. It's not THAT spectacular. However, we have only a day here and we need to make the most of it.
After leaving the Uffizi, we have a little bit of time to ourselves before we must reunite with our group for a city tour. We wander around Florence. It's much, much smaller than Rome with a quaint, old world charm. Local law says no buildings can be taller than the duomo and that keeps everything in check. We do a little shopping at the outdoor markets (leather is the hot product in this town), split a piece of pizza (the best yet) and sample some more gelato (rice flavored and surprisingly good).
We meet back with our group for our walking tour. We stop at Piazza Michaelangelo (a park named after one of the city's famous sons) for a view of the city and a visit to a bronze replica of David. We aldo visit the Santa Croce Basilica where lots of local boys done good are buried including Michaelangelo, Gallieleo, Machieveli and Rossini (Dante is also a native son, but was exiled from Florence late in life. When he died, the city wanted his body returned, but his will stipulated that it not be. Nonetheless, there is still a nice tribute to him here). In the Piazza Signora, we see an exact copy of the David with its enlarged hand signifying the hand of God helping him in his slaying of Goliath. At the Baptistery, we see Lorenzo Ghiberti's bronze door which tells the stories of the Old Testament in each of its frames (Adam & Eve, Cain & Abel, Noah, Moses, Sacrifice of Isaac, etc.
It was veyr hot in Florence and after all that we did today, we were very relieved to retire early tonight (too bad the AC at the hotel is broken). Our dinner is local takeout (no fava beans for us).