|How's that for a view?|
Dad has been sleeping in lately so I took advantage of his slumber and got an early start on Florence. I loaded up on my Rick Steve's podcasts and headed down to the old city using the super scenic viale michelangelo.
Before I proceed any further let me drop a surprising tip. If you're willing to make the minimal sacrifice of getting out the door before 7am in just about any Italian town you will literally have the streets to yourself. This is amazing when you consider that three hours later you are literally drowning in a sea of humanity.
|The lesser known and more effeminate David|
From the museum I headed west to the Piazza della Signoria the proverbial but much more cool 'Times Square' of Florence. The place is much more magnificent and enchanting when you aren't shoulder to shoulder with tourists. I had another hour to kill before meeting my dad so I decided to wander the nearby streets in search of some good pictures and a lampredotto sandwich. I was about half way through my stroll when, like the swallows returning to Capistrano, the crowds emerged.
|Starting to lose track of these buildings|
The tour was followed by a pleasant and solid meal at Osteria de’ Peccatori. Between the two of us we played it safe with pizza, ravoili, and wild boar tagliatelle. My dad is programmed to require sweets after each meal so he had me hunt down some gelato at Vivoli. It was there that I stumbled upon my new favorite flavor, rice.
We managed to have a pleasant afternoon as well, crowds not withstanding. I took my dad over to visit the gallery of artists selling their work outside of the Uffizi. We spent some more time wondering how Brunelleschi got all of those bricks to cooperate on the creation of the duomo. We even had a few nice moments walking down the Arno. A very fulfilling if not somewhat exhausting day in the city.
|The better looking David|
playing some old school US jazz which brought a smile to my dad's facce. I let the waitress talk me into their 'hamburger' which was essentially a beef patty with some tomatoes laid over some lettuce. I made a poor decision and spent the rest of the meal picking at my dad's seafood.
- Italian tip of the day- Don't exchange money at the exchange houses in these towns, make due with the foreign transaction fees on your credit card. I tried to change in $100 and was blown away that the rate was about 25% higher than the current exchange rate going.
- Food highlight- The rice gelato at Vivoli or the Wild Boar ragout.
- Things we regretted not doing today- I wish we would have visited the Eataly marketplace and I wish we would have gotten a custom belt made down in the leather district.
More information on the doors in the Bargello