Friday, August 21, 2009


Looking out over Florence at the end of the day
21 August

We spent a long day in Florence today and it is now ending with me sitting out on the balcony of the villa catching up on some writing. It is a very pleasant 28 degrees at the moment (10.30pm) and I am enjoying the peacefulness of the village and the clear, starry night sky.

It was great wandering around Florence today and we found the weather to be not as hot as our day in Pisa (I will catch you up with that sometime soon) - it was only about 38 degrees! We split up and did several different things today - Jane & Malcolm took Hannah and Rebecca to the Academia to see the original marble statue of the 4m tall 'David'. Josh didn't think he needed to go and see a naked man and so Lionel & I took him to the Science Museum to see some of the ancient science instruments, including some of Galileo's instruments.

We all met up at lunch time for pizza (and of course gelato...)

Lionel & Josh then headed off to some gardens to find some shade and a cool place to wait out the afternoon, while Jane & I took the girls shopping! We visited the Armani shop and walked past Louis Voitton, Prada, Guchi, and many other fashion stores - fortunately many of them were closed for the siesta period and so it was only window shopping. We found ourselves in a shoe shop where Rebecca & Hannah both purchased a pair of Converse shoes - Rebecca's are black & white high-tops.

We wandered through the market, I bought a scarf but we weren't tempted by too much and then we walked through Ponte Vecchio which is the area of the gold and silver sellers (no, Lionel didn't buy me anything for my birthday!)

As the afternoon got hotter and the bodies got more tired we stopped for another gelato before the next lot of walking.

The streets of Florence are full of history with the narrow alleyways, old stone buildings and cobble stone streets. There are a multitude of piazzas, churches, museums and statues. There are gold shops, silver shops, leather shops and of course a variety of tourist stalls.

We were amazed to see how quickly the people illegally selling on the side of the street could gather up their wares when there was any sign of the police, and we even saw some police on motorbikes run over one man's pictures when he was too slow moving on.

Our day ended with dinner in a local restaurant and then driving up to Palazzo Micelangelo to take lots of photos overlooking the city - yes, I will get some photos uploaded soon and I will update the days I have missed out.

We are loving Italy (except for the heat) and have definately decided that none of us will starve while in, gelato, pasta, gelato, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and of the gelato!

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