Friday, August 15, 2008


Wednesday 13 July
It was real good to ring Lucy up and talk with her on her birthday, and qalso to have a quick chat with Mum.

Yesterday morning we got up early and were on the road to Florence just after 7.00am. Our plan was to viit the statue of David at the Galleria dell' Accadamia and the Ufizi Museum. This should be quite a challenge at the height of the holiday season.

The trip was quite straight forward, but all of a sudden you come from a main highway into the narrow streets of Florence. By good luck and sheer stumbling we found a car park close enough to walk into the tourist area. We also managed, after finding maps, to stumble across the unassuming hole in the wall where you could book tickets yto the museums. We were fortunate to be able to book 1.00pm tickets to David and 5.30 tickets to the Ufizi.

We decided to have pizza and coffee and were stunned to have to pay so much for so little. We were now in the big smoke. To very chic Italian guys sat beside us and were very friendly. The main one, Phillipe, was very wealthy as his family owned a large design company which made leather stuff and clothes. He looked very chic and Italian and was well-known by the waiters who treated him with much respect. He had visited New Zealand and was very knowledgeable on many countries. He engaged and entertained us for 10-15 minutes. His best line when asked how much they sold their clothers for was, “You don't buy our clothes with money you buy them with class, and money can't buy class!” I still regret I didn't give him my card to keep in contact.

From there Leigh and I wandered across the Ponte Vecchio which is lined with jewellery shops, visited without entering the Piazza Pitti museum, headed along the river and crossed the Ponte alle Grazie and wandered through the street and came across Dallas and Terry. We then made our way to the Accadamia where we only had to line up for about 15 minutes.

I am a bit sick of religious and renaissance paintings, but the statue of David is truly impressive and well-worth seeing. The detail Michaelangelo has achieved with veins and muscles is outstanding. He has seemingly out of proportion large hands and feet and vice versa with the old fella.

After getting out of there we found an internet cafe and were able to check emails and update blogs. It was a great facility and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Florence and wanting internet access. It is called Italian Point and is at Via Ricasoli 19 ( Leigh and I then bought some silk scarves as gifts and a wallet for me and Thomas. We then all met up at the Ufizi, got turned away for being 30 minutes early and then immediately another doorman called us to another door and sent us in.

The sculptures were great; everyone must have wandered around in the nude back then! The paintings I was over, so after an hour speed viewing and coping with the nuisance touring groups and guides I spilled out. Terry and Leigh soon emerged and Leigh and I headed off for pizza and fruit salad, then walked the wrong way and crossed the wrong bridge before arriving near our car to wait for Terry and Dallas. They found each other at 6.45 after both emerging at 6.00 and waiting on opposite sides of the museum.

We had a very uneventful drive home, with only one wrong turn. We bought beautiful take away pizzas from the local village and I crashed before falling asleep on the couch with plans for a restful day following. The driving is going OK, but I think it is tiring me a little more than I realise.

This morning I got up at 8.00 to drink a fine coffee that Terranzo had made before he and I walked and jogged up the hill to the village, did a little exploring and found a nice park and then bought pastries, bread and cheese.

On our return we provided breakfast for the wahine. I had a swim and met a couple of GPs from Edinborough. The others have walked up to the village, but I wanted to rest and update the diary. I am going to wander up soon. I think Terry has discovered free internet at the info centre from 3.00pm.

1 comment:

Ariadne aka Marilyn said...

Bravo Maurie for driving into Florence & getting a park close to the action. Yep it's awfully tiring driving in Europe. Hope you're taking the train to Rome. David was a highlight of my trip to Florence