Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Florence Day 2

By Rain Babauta

June 26, 2012

On our second day in Florence, we walked out to the Uffizi Gallery but on our way we stopped to see a 250 year old olive tree that just happened to be there. We continued to walk over to the Uffizi Gallery, but on our arrival, we saw how long the lines were. Figuring the lines would be long for all the museums, we bought some passes (Firenze Card) that would grant access to a number of different museums located around the city along with a little guide book that could tell us about the museums, tell us where they are located, and which museums we would be able to enter with the passes.

We then entered the Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, a museum with lots of cool maps and paintings of the town of Florence. We went to the museum's upstairs section where there were lots of paintings on the walls and ceilings. Inside were also some sculptures and tables and furniture that the Medici family used! We also saw the private chapel that the Medici family used.

After the museum we were feeling a little hungry but not hungry enough for lunch so we stopped by a little sandwich shop called I Fratellini that also sells wine. There we split sandwiches in pairs. They had a very good Ham and mozzarella sandwich and the tomato, mozzarella, cheese and truffle oil sandwiches were just as delicious. When we finished we were still a little hungry so we could either get another sandwich or gelato. The children unanimously chose gelato of course so we walked around and found a place called Perche No!... that had lots of people inside and delicious gelato. When we got our gelato and went outside to eat it, we looked back into the shop about five minutes later and it was closed.

After our delicious snack break, we walked over to the Santa Croce church. Inside were many tombs in the floors and along the walls. Some of the people buried along the walls were Dante, the "father of the Italian language" and writing legend, Galileo, the world famous astronomer who was excommunicated from the church because of his beliefs in the solar system, Michaelangelo, one of the most amazing artists ever, and Machiavelli, the famous author of The Prince.

When we finished looking around the Santa Croce, we were exhausted and hungry again. We walked a little ways away and found a Jewish vegetarian restaurant called Ruth's. We had hummus and bread, falafel, minestrone soup, pesto penne, and pizza, and played tic tac toe. Then we headed back to our apartment but stumbled upon a store with lots of cool themed chess sets, figurines, and masks. After looking around, we went home for our usual afternoon rest.

Well rested, we headed off for dinner. We went to this place called Il Pizzaiuolo (supposed to be the best pizza in Florence) where we made reservations earlier that day. We were seated next to the place where they bake the pizzas so we could watch the chef. We ordered four pizzas: Margherita, a mushroom pizza, a Caprese pizza (tomato with basil and mozzarella), and one with artichoke with mushrooms. It was the best pizza we've had in Italy (and dad said it rivaled the best Neapolitan pizza in San Francisco). For dessert we had a strawberry panna cotta, cheesecake with chocolate sauce, and a ricotta cheesecake with pistachios and a candy top. On our way back home we stopped by Palazzo Vecchio's outside again and watched all the people gathered there at night. The exterior was even more beautiful at night than it was in the day time. Then we walked home to end our fun-filled day.

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