Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Last Stop Florence Italy

by Keith and Heather Nicol

After leaving reluctantly San Gimignano we headed to the Florence airport to return our rental car
David by Michaelangelo
and then taxied in to Florence to the Wow Florence Hostel. We had planned our trip to finish in Florence since although we started in Florence 2 weeks earlier, at that time we were just getting our bearings and getting over jet lag from our long flight from Vancouver. This time we wanted to see the famous statue David in the Galleria dell'Accademia which was just a few blocks from where we were staying. Since it was Sunday and we knew that the Galleria dell'Accademia was closed Mondays this was our last chance since our return flight to Vancouver was 10:00 am on Tuesday morning. The front desk staff at the Wow Florence Hostel told us that the first Sunday in each month many museums were free and we thought that this meant we had no chance to get into the Gallerie since there are usually long lines to get in and if it was free entry the lines would be extra long. Well were we surprised when we arrived to a line that was just 2 minutes long!! We couldn’t believe our luck and so spent the next 90 minutes touring the Gallerie with its many statues and paintings. No wonder Florence is considered to be the centre of renaissance art in Italy.
View of Florence from the Tower
The Cathedral and Tower
    The next day (our last in Italy) we got up early and headed for the Duomo and bought a 15 euro pass to see a variety of buildings in this extremely popular part of Florence. We were glad we got there just as they were opening (9:00am) since we had wanted to climb the tower, see the museum, tour the cathedral and see the crypt. By the time we left at noon the long lines were snaking from all venues and by this time it was much hotter and shade was harder to find. We really enjoyed the museum which had an intriguing section on the building of the huge dome with models and examples of period construction techniques and tools. We also thought the tower was well worth the climb and our only regret was that we had not planned ahead and booked a spot to also climb to the top of the Duomo since it is so popular you need to reserve ahead. We spent the afternoon wondering down to the Arno River before returning to the hostel to pack and get ready for our departure the next day. We had hoped to see the Uffizi Gallery (it was closed Monday) as well as get to several other sites but that will have to wait until our next visit. Arrivederci Florence. 
Along the Arno River in Florence

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