2nd Day Florence

Florence Travel Blog

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The Last Judgment
Received a breakfast voucher from the hotel for the Dimascafe which was just a few doors down the block.   The voucher got us a drink (espresso and cappuccino for Michiyo and I and hot chocolate for the boys) and a choice of croissant or other pastry.   The boy's weren't so happy with the breakfast but I was getting used to the Italian style strong caffeine shot and a pastry.  

Michiyo went to visit Santa Croce as it was closing when we went by there with her yesterday while the boys and I went on a quest to change money, book our Rome hotel room and reserve tickets for the Vatican Museum (ALWAYS RESERVE TICKETS FOR THE VATICAN MUSEUM - the line is something else!).   The Internet Cafe I spotted on Via Ghibellina was closed so we found a bank and I experienced first hand the Italian bank culture.
View from the dome
  Tons of workers processing paperwork but only two open windows.   Many customers with obscure forms or transactions that required great amounts of research and looks of consternation on the tellers struggling to solve the issue.   Maybe a 45 minute wait and then told it was the other window that handled money exchange.   At the other window I find out they do not exchange traveler's checks and, in a vain attempt to make all that waiting worthwhile, when I said I would go ahead and exchange my remaining $150 to Euros I think the lady told me that the amount wasn't enough or that the bank couldn't make a proper commission on that amount. 

Later on that day I finally changed the traveller's checks but they are not worth it.  Next time I'll just bring more cash.  They get a worse exchange rate and a hefty commission.
Campanile from the dome
  

We still had time before meeting Michiyo so went back to the Internet Cafe and booked a room and the Vatican Museum tickets.  I tried to book tickets for the Uffizi Gallery and the Academy but they were all sold out for the next morning.

After meeting up with Michiyo we went to the train station and bought tickets for Rome.    Ate a pizza lunch and then Ray wanted to see the Fortezza da Basso.  It looked impressive on the map but I didn't realize it was a fair ground or event venue.  The main gate was closed so I thought it was a museum that was closed on Monday's.   The outside walls are impressive but wasn't worth the walk in the heat. 

On our way to the station we were thinking of seeing the Duomo but the square in front of the church was packed with tour groups and the line was very long.
Fontana di Nettuno, Piazza della Signoria
  It seems all the groups arrive at lunch because close to 1500 the line was short and we got to visit this beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria.  The cupola painted with frescoes of the Last Judgement were most impressive and it wasn't hard for the boys to agree to climb the dome.   The line for the dome took about 25 minutes before we could enter.  We got to see the frescoes up close and then the views from on top of the dome were beautiful.   The route up and over the dome is crowded in places and in places the passage way narrows to just enough room for one person to fit but serves as the only passage for those climbing and descending.  

After the dome another look at Piazza Della Signoria and then back to the hotel.   Michael got another kebab for dinner while everyone else ate the remainder of our deli food.

 
coles says:
Thanks. I only wish we had more than 2 days. Need two weeks at least for Firenze!
Posted on: Jul 19, 2010
Vikram says:
I was in Firenze myself in May so it was nice reading your experiences!
Posted on: Jul 19, 2010
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The Last Judgment
The Last Judgment
View from the dome
View from the dome
Campanile from the dome
Campanile from the dome
Fontana di Nettuno, Piazza della S…
Fontana di Nettuno, Piazza della …
Reading new book on Florence
Reading new book on Florence
Michael the card shark
Michael the card shark
Florence
photo by: monky