Germany & Italy [2003]

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day 4 [] july 18, 2003 [] Florence, Italy

It is Friday. We awoke at 6:30 to get ready and eat breakfast. Our plan was to see all that we wanted to see in Florence in one day. We ate to see in Florence in one day. We ate the complimentary breakfast at Hotel Jane, which wasn't very good and headed off. First, we headed on foot to the Galleria dell' Academia to see Michelangelo's famous David. When Lisa walked in the room, not knowing where it was, she turned and was astounded. It is displayed beautifully, and it alone is a wonderfully detailed work of art. Also amazing are the conservation efforts throughout the years, from wax coating to chemical stripping. There is much artwork on the Madonna, especially her crowning.

After David we went to the next big thing, El Duomo. It's an enormous church/cathedral. For €6 we climbed to the top, up 463 steps. The view was priceless. Overlooking all of Firenzia, we walked around the balcony and took pictures, trying to get Lisa closer and closer to the railing. Lisa did a lot better than even she expected. Inside the stairway it was hot, but we were able to walk along the inside of the dome and look down at the church. The ceilings were spectacular. They were so high and yet all painted with artwork. The most memorable image on the ceiling was a 3 headed dragon eating people. Inside the church was The Last Supper painting. There were also candle trees where people could light candles for money.

After that we ate at Cafe Duomo. Lisa had lasagna with very thick noodles, and Jon had delicious spaghetti.

We went to look for the store that could possibly have Italian ice cream spoons (for Lisa). They were closed for lunch. We had heard that Via de Calzainali had fancy stores, so we perused them on the way to Ponte Vecchio. It looked just like the postcards, take away the card thing. We went to Piazza de Pitti and the Giardino di Boboli. The Boboli Gardens were beautiful. At the Porcellin Museum on the far side, we watched a small boy running through the short garden. His dad was chasing him like Vito Corleone in the Godfather, so we took a few pictures. We showed them the pictures because they were adorable and got their email address to email them the pictures.

We walked to Piazza de Santa Maria Novella and watched birds. There were tons of birds, swarming it seemed around a piece of bread and walking on each other to get to it. Lisa got up the nerve to walk through them. We went from there to see if the spoon store was open. It was, and we looked at Dina Bartoloni Houseware. Lisa asked if the lady spoke English, and she said no. Lisa looked for spoons but found only expensive ones. Jon prompted Lisa to ask , but she didn't want to. Jon told her to look up how to say it, because Jon wasn't going to let Lisa leave without at least exhausting the possibilities, even if it meant looking and feeling like an idiot to do it. She finally got the nerve to ask, and the lady showed her one for €2.20 each a steal! And to think if it weren't for Jon she wouldn't have asked.

We walked back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner and returned to the same pizzaria from the first night. Lisa had the risotto agli asparagus, and Jon had the penne with meat sauce. Delicious. Lisa had some wine, almost 2 glasses and got a little tipsy. She didn't like it or the wine. Jon, he can hold his liquor.

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