Sunday, January 26, 2014


Posted March 1, 2014.

If one of the kids were writing this post, they'd no doubt title it "Freezing in Florence", not because it was actually freezing, but because they all seem to be enamored with alliteration.

Rather than the day by day posting, I'm going to speed things up here...the next three days in Florence. :)

Friday, January 24th

We woke up refreshed after our day off, and walked into the city center, which was advertised as 15 minutes away, but took us about 45. Still, a pretty walk, so no complaints.

There are one or two statues around town. The kids would have you believe that I made them pose in front of every one of them, but I'm telling you, that is simply untrue and practically impossible.

There are no photos allowed in the Accademia, where Michangelo's famous David is, so we posed in front of the replica outside, even though Ainsley said it was "disgusting."

The Cathedral, Duomo, Campanile and Baptistry are spectacular, really uniquely Florentine.

We knew we wanted to climb to the top of the dome or the Bell Tower, so after a vote, the kids picked the 414 steps of the Bell Tower over the 463 steps of the Duomo.

First we went into the Cathedral though:

Here's a view from about halfway up the Campanile:

View of the Baptistry from above:

When you get to the level just below the roof, there's a grate that shows the drop to the ground below—the kids thought it was a feat of bravery to walk over it. Here's some video, with lousy sound because of the wind:

And finally, the top, worth every step:

The famous bronze doors on the Baptistry have been moved inside the museum to preserve them, so these are replicas:

Here we are outside the Accademia, where we saw Michelangelo's David, but no photos were allowed inside:

This is inside the Cathedral Museum, where photos were allowed, so these are Ghiberti's "Gates of Paradise" Doors.

Ellie, very proud of her linguistic genius, didn't want to miss yet another opportunity to pose in front of a "Saldi" sign as we wandered the maze of streets in search of a restaurant for lunch.

I've already forgotten this meal, but I think it's safe to bet that the boys got panini's, the girls got margarita pizza and I got pasta.

Here we are outside the Uffizi...we opted not to go, thinking the kids really wouldn't appreciate it, and it would cost us a small fortune for six people. Yet another reason we have to come back.

Here's a view of the Ponte Vecchio:

And another view, crossing the Ponte Vecchio:

Finally, the kids couldn't resist posing by this tiny car.

Saturday, January 25th:

We had originally planned only one day in Florence, but loved the rental and also figured it'd be easier to go to church here, rather than having to take a water bus back to the mainland from Venice. Day three started out again with a walk to the city center. It was a gorgeous day!

We went to a a couple of other Basilicas...the kids will tell you that Rob CANNOT walk past a church without going inside. This one is the Basilica of Santa Croce:

Outside this church is a statue of Dante, a Florentine Rob likes to mention whenever he has to have a family photo taken:

The inside of the church has the rest of who's who from Florence buried or memorialized there...Micheangelo, Dante, Galileo, Machiavelli, Rafael, Ghiberti, Enrico Fermi and about 15 others. It's too bad this town hasn't contributed much in the fields of art, literature, politics or science.

But the art and history lessons paled in comparison to the culinary genius we tasted in an artisanal gelateria here—this was the real stuff:

We walked home happy.

Sunday, January 26th:

We got up and went to church. Rob and the kids were grateful for the missionary who translated for them. I caught enough to figure out what was going on, but have NEVER been able to is a completely different gift that involves the ability to listen and talk at the same time, and multi-tasking and word associations that I have never been able to master. It was fun to meet the missionaries, another American couple who were visiting, and an American family who has lived here for six years.

After that, we checked out of our rental. We were able to get a Book of Mormon from the missionaries at church, and gave it to Dario and Irene, our landlords. They had told us we could check out later than usual, and we explained that the reason was so we could attend church, and that this book was another book of scripture that had influenced our lives for the better. We told them that they didn't have to read it, but that it was a token of our appreciation, and they accepted it so graciously, saying it was a "burn regalo". We took some photos with them as well.

We left around 2:00 p.m. and spent the rest of the afternoon driving to Venice. We loved our stay—maybe "Fantastic Florence" would have been the better alliterative title... :)

1 comment:

cathy riley said...

Thank you for sharing your adventure! Love your blog!