Thursday, July 9, 2009
What a way to end the day...
After working all weekend at the castle, we were only left with one day to see all of Florence, which is really impossible. Oscar and the other four people on our team decided to drive to Rome (three hours away), rather than see Florence. Since I have already been to Rome, I decided to stay behind and see Florence on my own. So, I got my boots out (cause they were made for walkin'...and that's just what I planned to do) and prepared for the day in the city.
When I woke up, it was windy and POURING rain...so I put on long pants, took an umbrella and got on the train anyway. Thankfully, when I got into town, the rain had stopped and it started to clear up. It also got very hot and humid, which made me a very sweaty American mess for most of the day.
The city is full of so many churches, statues, historical buildings and wonderful restaurants...it's almost a cultural overload. You really need a couple days to see it all. But, I didn't have that...so I just kept pushing my sweaty tits through the crowds and enjoyed the sights along the way.
The three largest main structures in the city are the Piazza Duomo (a large church, dome and tower)...
The Palazzo Vecchio (a huge square with a vast selection of ginormous scantily clad detailed statues)...
As much as I wanted to go in and see the real statue of David...the line was just too long and I didn't have enough time to see that and the rest of the city. Thankfully, his stunt-double hangs out with the other statues here...so, that was free and allowed me to keep moving.
And, finally, the Biblioteca Nazionale (a giant library that I didn't have time to visit up close).
Along the way, I discovered that Betty Boop has obviously made a career change and is now a sassy waitress in a small cafe downtown. But, she was still very friendly looks like she hasn't aged a day.
I also saw a couple of mimes who were wandering around behind random tourists and doing what they do best...scaring and manhandling people, which amused the unstalked to no end. I waited a few minutes to see if anyone would punch one of them and, when they didn't...I sadly moved on.
This gold "historical figure" was not amused by the mimes either, because they were stealing attention away from him (people normally pay to have their picture taken with him), so he just brooded nearby smoking bitterly and turning away from people who tried to take his photo from afar for free (like me).
I ended my trip by walking up a very steep hill to a large lookout over the city. There is a big statue of some naked guy whose perky stone butt cheeks provided the only shade I had for a couple of hours while I waited for the sun to set and the city lights to come on.
Nearby, this young couple proceeded to vigorously makeout as if they had just reunited after several years apart (rather than just meeting the night before after many bottles of wine). It was sweet, romantic and annoying all at once...
While resting on the only stone seat near a breeze, a woman came over and asked if she could take a photo of the collection of padlocks that had been jabbing me in the back for the past twenty minutes. She then proceeded to tell me that people in love from around the world leave locks with their names on them attached to this area of the balcony fencing. The story says that people who "lock their love" above the city remain in love forever. Very romantic sounding, but not the most ergomatic back support for the lock-less visitors just trying to air-dry.
As the day begins to wind down, people start to gather along this set of large stone steps to eat, drink and watch the sun set over the city.
Then as the sun finally disappears, the city lights begin to come on...which provides a breathtaking view of the whole city and the river running through it.
It's a really a beautiful city and if you ever get a chance to come to Florence....do it.
I'm in Berlin, Germany now...so, soon I'll be donning my Lederhosen with camera in tow and venturing out.
More to come soon...