Day 1 – Planes, trains and automobiles!
Once we were off the ship we flew to Rome then flew on to Florence (Fiorenza). All the transfers of us and luggage went amazingly well, Europe knows how to move people.
Our little apartment is 1 km away from the city center and is very spacious. The hotels in the city center are about $300 to $400 euro per night, our apartment is just over $100 euro. With a 20 minute walk we are in the city center so a good deal. We picked up food to make our own dinner tonight and breakfast. There are laundry facilities just down the hall so we can catch up on 10 days of laundry. On the cruise there was laundry service $1 euro per item! Here we can do a whole load for 4 euro.
We will do lots of walking on this part of our trip. The first day we just walked to the center to get our bearings, it was raining but still crowded with people. I would not like to be doing this in the height of the season. My first impression was of the grandeur that the church and elite surrounded themselves with. Many of the people would have been dirt poor but still gave their money to support these places. It’s also a strange feeling to be quite out numbered by other races and languages, Italy does not make the same effort to translate signs to English as Greece does. Despite all of this, the buildings are truly awe inspiring. Hoping for a drier day tomorrow.
Florence Uffizi Gallery Day 2
This morning we were out by 7:30 to get in line for the Uffizi Gallery as the gallery no longer accepts reservations after the beginning of April. We waited about 1 hour in line so not too bad. The day is dry about 22 degrees, cloudy and humid.
A true treasure trove of sculptors and paintings by the masters. Van Gogh, Cezanne, Michelangelo and more. The paintings were dominated by scenes of Madonna and Child.
Home now for a rest, somehow Peter finds our way through all the maze of streets thankfully. We will venture out to an Italian pizzeria tonight for dinner, yumm.
Florence Day 3 Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens
The weather has been steadily improving and today, no need of a jacket. Sunshine and warm. Our walk to the Pitti Palace was so pleasant, mornings are the best here as Italians are late risers so the streets are much quieter.
Again the ceilings were works of art all on their own.
Napoleon’s private bathroom, not too privileged!
The lady in the Salon and the same lady hunting.
Some of the incredible art.
There were art students working through out the gallery this morning, interesting to see their sketches of the masters.
A taste of the opulence of the palace salons.
Today I was missing our dogs so ended up taking photo’s of art work with dogs.
The Boboli Gardens are part of the Pitti Palace grounds, because if you live in a palace, the children must play somewhere. 🙂
I can only imagine what this rose garden will look like in another month, I was in need of some organic beauty and was not disappointed. The birds were singing, it was wonderful.
In keeping with my missing our dogs today, here are some photo’s of dogs we came across today on our way home. Almost all of the dogs walk on harnesses or nothing at all. They all seem to have city manners. The only dogs that showed interest in other people were… you guessed it, the goldens. 🙂
Well I had wondered if we would escape the dreaded recycled air on airplanes and unfortunately we did not. Peter has come down with a nasty virus of some sort and so today is a stay put day. Hopefully with lots of rest and vitamin C he will be on the mend as tomorrow we head to Northern Tuscany for the week of hiking. Fingers crossed….