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2023 Italy Day 11

Firenze (Florence), Friday, March 31

I get up bright and early today because I have to walk 20 minutes to the car and move it. The parking meters start at 8AM. I have info on a parking garage that we can pay by the day a lot closer to our AirBnB. I get to the car and navigate to the new address only to find the new garage full. But the helpful attendant gives me the address of another place. I get there and they take the car. This is a place where they stack cars on lifts. Interesting!

So I take the last few things out of the car and now have only a 9 minute walk to our apartment. Parking will be 30 Euros per day. I don’t know if that is a bargain but the parking meters we were at cost 24 Euros per day to keep them fed. So I get back to the apartment and find Elee up. She has been up and down all night doing laundry!

Well the good news is our laundry is all clean! So we head out and find coffee and pastries (after having one cup in the apartment) and head towards the river. We walk by the Piazza De’ Pitti (The Pitti Palace) but we don’t ever find out what it is except a very large building. We spot a water drinking fountain like ones we saw in Rome several years back. You turn on the water and block it with your hand and a fountain squirts up to drink from! We cross the river on the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge lined with shops and vendors and some very nice views! We were here 7 years ago with my mother in law in a wheelchair. Even a local poses for my camera!

It’s a much more leisurely trip this time and we treat ourselves to taking our time and enjoying the views. Our cameras are happy and in their element once again! From the Ponte Vecchio, we walk on to the Uffizi Gallery Museum and see works by Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, and others. The famous painting, Birth of Venus is on display! We find a worker in the museum that helps us to an elevator out as the elevators seem to be restricted. Elee’s knees thank the lady profusely!

From the museum, we head towards the Duomo which is as spectacular outside as we remember! This trip we queue up to go inside, something we didn’t have time for last trip here. After about an hour queue, we go inside. It is interesting but a bit underwhelming compared to other Duomos and Basilicas we have been in but still interesting. Our cameras enjoy the trip and we leave happy. There is a bell tower here, that, for a price, I could climb the 414 steps to the top. Normally, I wouldn’t pass up the chance, but today, my feet and knees rebel and my cameras frown at them! But a curious 24 hour clock catches my camera’s attention!

On our way back to the apartment we find a wine and cheese tasting store where you choose as many wines as you like and automatically serve yourself tastings and they bring you a cheese platter of tastings to go with it. The proprietor, Lucrezia, at Tuscan Taste Wine Tasting Room takes a liking to us (might have something to do with telling her I am a winemaker) and chats with us the entire time, telling us about the wines and cheeses! We add a few more grape varietals to our hunt to join the Century Club (tasting 100 different varietals) and I think we are over 60 now! A rich person’s Alpha Romeo is just parked in the street wherever he wants to park it! Street art in the form of chalk paintings abound! Random store displays catch our cameras eyes and a fun carousel is spinning!

We head back towards the apartment and look for restaurants that serve ‘Bissteca Alla Fiorentino’, a 3 or 4 inch thick beef T-Bone, aged 45 days and cooked over charcoal. You pay by the kilogram at between 50-75 Euros per kilogram with a minimum of 1.2 kilograms! But 2 people share the meal! A very famous dish here! Unfortunately you need reservations made days in advance to get it and we didn’t make reservations. We find one place across the river that tells us we don’t need reservations but it is too far to go on our weary legs! So Elee cooks pasta in our apartment called ‘Trofi’ with a pesto sauce that we found in, wait for it, a gas station on the highway! She perfects the ‘Al Denti’ method of cooking it and it comes out marvelous!

So, being saved from going down and up our 6th floor walk up apartment on sore feet, we watch some shows on Netflix and kick back. Clean the kitchen and sit down to write this blog and the evening wanes! Good night everyone!

One Response to “2023 Italy Day 11”

  1. Monica Wilson

    Oh all your walks around Florence being bald so many memories! Sounds like you put in a lot of miles. I can understand the tiredness and soreness as we are half way through our trip and feeling it! Lovely shots and fun memories, Don!

    Liked by 1 person


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