Saturday, June 14, 2008

Florence, Italy - Day 7

Today was our first full day in Florence. Our first sight of the day was the Uffizi gallery. To get in you have to wait a long time or have reservations. Teresa planned ahead. We got to the ticket office about 30 inutes early though so we walked around the corner to see Ponte Vecchio again, in the daylight this time.

Visiting the Uffizi (which means "office" in Itallian as it was the office space for the ruling Medici family) was great thanks to following Rick Steve's audio tour. Without a tour it would have just been a lot of paintings and a few sculptures, some of which I would have thought "Haven't I seen that somewhere before?" Unfortunately they don't let you take pictures there or I would have a ton. The gallery pretty much takes you from early Renissance up through the Renissance with a select number of works. The most famous one I recognized was The Birth of Venus.

After the gallery we went to the Duomo Museum which has all the original statues and old works that have been removed over the years (the ones that still survive at least). This is another of those musums that would have been really boring but we rented the audioguide. It was nice because I had headphones and a splitter since we were doing other audiotours with our iPod so we just plugged into the headphone jack and only had to get one guide. It also helped us to go at the same pace. I think others were jealous as they were checking out our setup.

After the museum we climbed the Duomo bell tower. It is, I think, 414 steps. Teresa even climbed with me. She has been pretty adventurous. The view was nice and there was no wait. It was overcast though so we didn't get the best views. It was still worth it. It was also cool looking at the Duomo after the museum because you could place all original statues you see with their copies that are now part of the actual building.

Next we did a Florence walk where we learned a little about the city and its Renissance roots. It was short though and only took us from the Duomo down to the Ponte Vecchio.

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