Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Grazie Firenze!

Today has been another wonderful time in Florence!

We got an early start so we could hit the Central Market again, and were passing the Duomo when the clock struck 8 AM. Pretty good! Then we spent the next hour finding the market and then once there, trying to find the place we had been the day before. Then we stepped outside to look for a cafe for some breakfast, and were immediately DUMPED on! It was such an intense rain storm! We ran from cafe to cafe trying to find something that looked good, and finally found a place that had omelets on the menu! Yum! It was kind of funny because we had looked to see what Rick Steves recommended in the area, and he had mentioned a cafe za za, but said it opened at noon. Turns out their hours must have changed, because that's where we were for breakfast!

Then after our yummy omelets we found our favorite food stall within the market, and perused the rest of the market for scarves, purses, and other fun things. Unfortunately, the vendors are really awful! They don't even just accost you as you walk by, they are also extremely rude! Whenever you walk by their stalls, they always say something like "Hello, beautiful ladies, come look, I have a jacket for you" or whatever. So you just ignore them, because there's nothing else you can do! But we had people saying things to us like "Didn't you ever learn to say hello back when someone says hi to you? Didn't they teach you anything in school? Oh wait, I forgot, you never got to school". We just kept walking because responding was definitely not worth it, but I wanted to say "Right, because you obviously made it really far to be selling fake leather goods in a street market". Needless to say, we didn't look around too long because it was a really stressful and exhausting experience. Janece and I both felt like that was the only part of Italy so far that has really turned us off. But that's ok, we know just to avoid street markets in the future!

The Medici Chapels were nearby the market, so it was easy to just stick our heads in there after the market. We then spent about 20 minutes trying to find the bathroom. What an experience that was! The first lady we asked told us to go up the stairs and that it would be on our left, but we went up the stairs and didn't see anything. So we asked someone at the top of the stairs, and they told us the same place so we went to look again - nothing. I was starting to bounce, and we were getting so confused and frustrated! Then we finally found a man who walked us there, and guess what? It was a hidden door in the wall. Literally a hidden door. How in the world were we supposed to find that?? Kind of funny now though!

The next stop on our list was the Accademia, and first we consulted Rick to see what places he recommended for lunch in the area. We found what sounded best, then set off to find it. We didn't exactly find what we were looking for, but we liked what we came across! We discovered a little hole in the wall family-owned restaurant where Janece ordered a shrimp and fruit salad, and I ordered carbonara and then the most AMAZING chocolate souffle of my life for dessert. All served by extremely attractive men, I might add! We were already very pleased with this experience, but it was all made better when we got the bill! They had not charged Janece for her wine or me for my cappuccino, and when we asked about it, they said it was included in the meal price! Sweet!

So in high spirits, we walked down the cobble stone street to go see Michaelangelo's David. What an incredible experience that was! There is no way to describe how unbelievable that statue is! He stands 17 feet tall, and is so detailed! You can see the veins and tendons in his hands, and he is perfectly sculpted. He is so pleasing to the eye, it's crazy! I had never really given that statue much thought, but it is definitely one of my top favorites now! Michaelangelo believed that God used him as a tool to create divine images, and looking at this piece of art, it's hard to believe otherwise. I cannot describe it and photos can't do it justice. You truly have to see it to believe it.

After we had finished with David, we walked over to Ponte Vecchio to do some last night jewelry perusing. We found a cute little store that had really nice silver, so that was successful!

Then it was on to our favorite restaurant on Piazza Signiora for more melon and prosciutto for Janece, and a Nicoise salad for me, and soon we were back in the hotel trying to stuff all of our stuff into our luggage. How we'll get all that stuff to Rome let alone back to the US I have no idea!

Tomorrow we will be in Rome! This trip is going by way too fast!!

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