Italy 2011, Florence

Our last full day in Florence began with beautiful blue skies. Jackie and I had brought our running attire and decided to go for a run first thing in the morning before going out and exploring the city one last time. Jackie had a longer distance to run than I did so we planned our route with the map, each took a copy, and headed out for our runs. As you can see with the GPS tracked run details below, I ended up getting a little lost and stopped my run to ask for directions. As it turns out Jackie also got lost in the winding streets of Florence but managed to make it back to the train station where we said we would meet at the end of our runs.

Run in Florence

Training Run in Florence. Click to see details

After taking quick showers we headed out into the city. We had pre-booked tickets to the Uffizi and Academia galleries so we made our way to the Uffizi, stopping for some espresso and breakfast on the way. Walking through the Uffizi gallery we went through rooms and halls filled with paintings and sculptures from the renaissance era. Jackie is more of an art buff than I am but I always appreciate this era of art and so walking through the rooms and halls of this amazing gallery was pretty amazing.

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View of Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi

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Jacq & I in the Uffizi

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Replica of the David sculpture outside the Uffizi

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Poseiden and his minions

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A random door near the Uffizi

As we finished up at the Uffizi gallery, we still had a bit of time before or reservation at the Academia gallery and we were pretty hungry. We walked across Ponte Vecchio to find a quiet place for lunch and according to our guidebook, that would be towards Piazza Santo Spirito. We found a fantastic little restaurant called Gusta Osteria where I have to admit that I ate one of the best pieces of lasagna I have had in my life. If it hadn’t been for the bread before the meal arrived, I very much would have enjoyed eating a second serving of the deliciousness!

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A view of Ponte Vecchio as we were walking towards it

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What a good looking couple!

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A vine covered building we found as we were exploring the streets

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Best. Lasagna, EVER!

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Gusta Osteria, great food!

The hour was quickly approaching for our ticket reservations at the Academia gallery so we walked back towards Academia for our ticket. Along the way we stopped in the Piazza di Sante Croce for some gelato and water and enjoyed admiring the basilica at the end of the square while we finished our dessert.

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Basilica Santa Croce on our walk to the Academia

We finally made it inside the Academia and walked to the statue of David. Words escape me in trying to describe this magnificent sculpture. The replicas all around the city were nice, but the real statue of David blew me away. I don’t have any of my own photos of the statue because you weren’t allowed to take any and I simply didn’t feel right trying to sneak a photo of it. I did, however, sit down on the marble flooring and admire this work of art. I move around to different locations in the hall and just took it all in. It is, by far, my favourite part of our adventure in Florence.

After the Academia we went back to the hostel, did some laundry, had dinner, and went to bed early to get a good night’s rest. Tomorrow, off to Venice we go!!

 The full set of photos can be found in this set on my Flickr page

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