La Spezia and the Tender Boat
Today was Firenze (Florence) and the beautiful David “¦and he really is magnificent! …but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The weather forecast was a 90% chance of rain, but we ended up with beautiful weather in the city. It rained a bit on the way into the city and we needed the umbrellas when we got off the bus to board the tender back to the ship. Despite all the negatives I’d heard about La Spezia and tendering, it was probably the prettiest port area we visited and the tendering didn’t prove to be any problem at all.
Because June 2 is a holiday for Italy, Florence was extremely crowded, even more crowded than Rome. We went directly to the Galleria del Accademia where Michaelangelo’s original David stands. Our guide gave us a brief introduction to Michaelangelo as a sculptor before we went to view the 15 feet high statue for our allotted few minutes.
From there we went to see the beautiful church of Santa Maria del Fiore (religious center of Florence) with its beautiful Duomo and on to the Piazza della Signoria (political center) and the area outside the Uffizi Gallery. Just a very short walk away was the old, old Ponte Vecchio with all its shops, but the crowds were so thick that, with 50 in our group, it was virtually impossible to go very far, so we headed in another direction toward the church of Santa Croce.
In the Piazza della Signoria, there is a copy of the statue of David, and the piazza was the original location of the original statue before it was moved to the Galleria del Accademia.
After visiting the Church of Santa Croce (where Michaelangelo and others are buried), we went for lunch at the Borghese Palace. Now, one thing we have learned is that the Italians really make great use of the word “palace.” Basically, they apply it to any very large residence where someone of importance lives/lived, in this case the Borghese Family. Three hundred and fifty Disney excursion guests had lunch there that day, so you can imagine the size of the place! “¦and it was beautiful with its old paintings and old baroque furniture, mirrors and chandeliers..
After a 5 or 6 course lunch, we had just enough time for a small gelato in the Piazza di San Croce, then back on the bus for a quick tour through the “high rent” residential areas of Florence along and on the other side of the Arno River.
I slept the whole way home! The 2+ hour bus ride seemed like only minutes to me 😉