Date: Tue 18th June
Temperature: Very very Hot
Highlight: Private tour of Florence
If only you could have seen us attempting to purchase 6 tickets with less than 5 minutes before our train departure with a ticket machine that kept on freezing (must have been running Windows Vista). Quick thinking Jethro, tickets were purchased from a Tobacco shop 20 meters away, we then had to validate all 6 of them in the machine (one at a time) after the train had pulled in, and what’s more, we were down the wrong end and had to run along the platform to get onto the train in time!
It was do or die as we had pre arranged to meet our private tour guide at Firenze Train Station and the next train would have been an hour later!
Roberto our tour guide was all things knowledgable about Florence. First stop was the Cappelle Medicee where we got the full run down on the Medicee family tree and the influence this family had over 300 years on shaping Florence. This Chapel also housed Michelangelo’s Day, Night, Dawn and Dusk marble sculptures that sat atop the tombs of some of the Medicee family members. Not bad for a head stone!
A tour of some of Florence’s landmarks and a visit of the Cathedral were also explained in expert detail. All were very impressed with Roberto and he is highly recommended for anyone visiting Florence.
We then finished our tour with Roberto on the doorstep of the Vasari Corridor for our next organised tour. This is a must for lovers of art. Most of us thought the tour was more about the history and the actual corridors. Whilst this was covered, it was more about the explanation of the hundreds of art work that adorn the corridor walls. Whilst interesting in its on right, we probably overdosed on tours in a single morning.
On our return we didn’t get past the Ponte Vecchio bridge, famous for all the gold jewellery shops without a few purchases made (by others in the group thankfully!)
After a sit down for lunch and an attempt to rehydrate it was then declared time for hitting the markets, this didn’t last too long due to the heat, so we headed off to seek out Michelangelo’s David!
After about an hour or so in a queue that didn’t move to fast and in 37 deg heat, we were finally fleeced of 11€ each to see the famous David, only to discover that you cannot take photos! They even had security guards enforcing it! But you cannot go all the way to Florence and not see David!
More market shopping and dinner before we caught the 8:28pm train back out and home!
We did manage to squeeze in another Gelato during the day! Roberto recommended us a Gelato place that apparently is the best in Florence. Now we have been recommended many, but it seems much easier to take the word of a local who claims that real fruit is used and it is made on site. To be honest, they all taste good, particularly when you are nearly going to die from heat exhaustion!
It was a big day. We spent close to 12 hours sight seeing and shopping, mostly on our feet and all of it in temperatures well over the mid 30’s! Hard work! Hopefully a sleep in and then time to catch up on our un-posted Blogs!