Italy - Day 5 - Florence: Museum and Duomo

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September 18th 2012
Published: September 24th 2012
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Souvenir shop near the museumSouvenir shop near the museumSouvenir shop near the museum

The streets and shops all had something to do with Michaelangelo in this neighborhood
So, today was our first day with no plans and we planned to sleep in. For me, that meant I was up at 8am. I watched TV, read a book, took a nice long shower in the world's tiniest shower. And waited for Gwosh to wake up. I thought about going for a walk, but my usual luck is that they would have woken while I was gone. As it was, they got up at noon and we eventually made our way outside.

After some food which I can't remember we made our way to the Museum where Gwen was dying to see David. We paid a little extra for a tour which bypassed the longer line and after about 20 minutes of waiting in the hot sun, we were inside. Our tour was quick but our guide was knowledgeable - he let us know some knew facts about Michaelangelo and there is a whole dedicated to his art. The David is way bigger than I thought it was. Sorry folks - no pictures. We stood around admiring the statue for a while before exploring the rest of the museum.

There were some beautiful religious paintings from the same time period as Michaelangelo in the main hall. Then there was another room dedicated to many sculptures and busts of normal (but rich) people. These were kind of interesting - seeing figures of merchants of Florence and their families. There was a random modern art piece in the middle of the floor which I felt was entirely out of place; every so often throughout the museum, there would be a modern piece just kind of thrown in which I found tacky. Other than that, the museum was pretty interesting and we hung around for a couple of hours. There was also a room of old instruments, mainly strings and wood. My favorite though were religious paintings from the 14th century. Josh explained a lot of the symbolism, like what colors of clothing meant or if a person was facing a certain way, that he was a "bad guy". Kind of cool. Other symbols like the keys representing St Peter or the spoke of a wheel representing another saint. So, even though there were many people in these paintings, people could tell who they were and they each told a story. Just beautiful.

Then we headed out to the Duomo. We just walked around the outside because it cost money and (unlikely as it is) there was a long line of tourists. The Duomo looks as though it is in a constant state of restoration - it's so big that it seems like as soon as the finish one side, they'll be working on the other. It was beautiful though.

Later, I decided to head back to the apartment while Gwosh explored other areas. They came home around 7 and for some reason I was out of it. We only had the one key so I went down to let them in. I opened the door fully and it stayed, but as I made my way down the stairs I heard a door slam shut ominously. Sure enough, it was ours and we were locked out. I felt soooo bad. It was late and people here do not work after 5 or 5:30. Period. No locksmith. No rental agency. Our apartment surrounded an inner courtyard with no alley access or alternate access. No one else was home. Finally we went next door to the mini market, owned by a young Indian couple. She spoke english and was extremely helpful, calling the fire brigade who played 50 questions trying to confirm our right to be there. Gwen finally got a hold of the building manager - this is all over an hour later. Right at that time, Josh saved the day by using a .... well, it's a "trade secret" - let's just say, he was the hero of the evening as he was able to open the door without any damage. Yay!

So, I took them to dinner at a place we had wanted to try the night before, Touch of Florence. The manager there had worked with Fabio from Top Chef and who owns restaurants in Moorpark. So he chatted with us all evening. There was an ipad we used to look at the menu. I really like the presentation and the wine was great. Gwosh liked it too, but felt the presentation and the quality of the food didn't quite match, though we all agreed the meat course was amazing.

Needless to say, I did not get my foot massage...

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


Josh the heroJosh the hero
Josh the hero

posing with the tool he used to open the door
Touch of FlorenceTouch of Florence
Touch of Florence

potatoes and stuffed zucchini flower
Spaghetti with clams and musselsSpaghetti with clams and mussels
Spaghetti with clams and mussels

one of my all time favorite types of meals - still not as good as Dad's
Awesome meat dishAwesome meat dish
Awesome meat dish

chicken and pork

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