Saturday, September 13, 2008

Florence by way of Pisa

We had to get up really early today to catch our tour bus. The group met at 7:30 and was off by 8:00. It was raining today too, which was unpleasant, but at least it wasn't as bad as yesterday.

Our first stop was Pisa. We got out and did all of the obligatory Pisa tourist pictures. I think that even though they're overdone, the pics of Dan and I holding up the tower are really cute.

After around 45 minutes in Pisa (which was plenty of time), we set off for a 2 hour drive to Florence. I was sleeping most of the time, but when I was awake the scenery outside was beautiful! It was exactly what you think Tuscany should look like--rolling hills and green vineyards, little sheds painted in bright colors--gorgeous!

We got to Florence just in time to make our 12:15 reservation at the Ufitzi. Again, we did a Rick Steves mp3 audio tour and it was great. Rick pointed out details I never would have noticed. He compared paintings to show how the renaissance changed art. It was really informative.

Although I love the Birth of Venus, I have to say that another artist's Venus was my favorite. It is of a Venus that is quite seductive, giving a look to the viewer that is unmistakable. She just looks so real. I also loved the Adam and Eve paintings. There were two sets side by side. I liked the ones that were a bit more scandalous. The smoldering look between Adam and Eve says it all. Maybe I just like these paintings because I'm on my honeymoon :) Who knows.

Anyway, after a great tour of the Ufitzi, we walked to the Ponte Vechio. I love the feel of this city. Walking down the streets you can really imagine yourself living here in the middle-ages.

We were starving, but short on time so we grabbed a foccacia flat bread and ate on the run. Seriously this was one of the best meals we've had so far! Mine had cheese, artichoke hearts, olives and mushrooms on it. Fantastic! Then, of course, we followed it with a gelato. I had whipped cream flavor with pistachio flavor! Great combination!

We were trying to find a nice leather jacket for me, but it just didn't work out. The nice jackets were around 700 euro ($1,050)!! There were some for a more reasonable $250, but the quality was noticeably less. I tried on a bunch, but no luck. Oh well.

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