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Published: July 16th 2017
After a sweaty and noisy (we needed the windows open due to the heat) night we dragged ourselves out of bed early to get some chores done. We bought a few things (including our own bowls!) from co-op for breakfast the next few days, grabbed a coffee and headed to the laundrette. I was in serious need of needing to do a clothes wash! Disgusting as it is, despite showering at least twice daily for the past 4+ weeks, all of our suncream, sweat and other horrible things were forming an orange layer of dirt on some of our clothes, particularly the pits and collars etc. It can't be seen when you ditch the clothes but once they have dried out and sat for a day or so it appears. We have both had to bin a few shirts already and sadly, some of my nicer and/or new items which were effected couldn't be fixed by some pre-wash stain remover and this wash and dry session :-( Thankfully I brought loads of clothes with me, so I'm not in trouble yet, but I have a feeling lots of them might end up in the bin by the end!
we eventually headed out into central Florence, catching the bus in to San Marco Piazza. We had only been in Florence (and awake) for about 6 hours but we could already tell we much preferred it to Naples, everything is clean, the drivers are less mental and much more considerate and there is little crap graffiti and dodgy looking selfie stick sellers. Our first stop was to the art gallery/museum which houses the original statue of David. The queues are huge, so we paid €4 extra and booked in an entry slot later in the day at 5pm. We then headed down the road to the cathedral, housed in a huge square and surrounded by shops and restaurants.
We bought an 'all in one' ticket which grants you entry to a number of the buildings in the square. Our first stop was to march up the 414 stairs of the cathedrals bell tower which provided some great views over the cathedral and the city. The ascent was fairly challenging, not just for our calves, but because the narrow stairway was 2 way. Having left late and spent some time queuing up for the bell tower, it was now passing
an acceptable time for lunch so we fired up TripAdvisor to find somewhere serving pasta, a task that was surprisingly difficult amazingly! We found a decent place just off the main square and got a table for two. I had carbonara and some wilted spinach with garlic and chilli, Dan couldn't handle anymore 'wheat belly' (he seems to have undiagnosed wheat intolerance) so opted for a chicken caesar. Our waiter had clearly learnt English from an Australian which caused a few giggles from us, especially when he came to take our orders with "Mates, what'll it be?" (In your best Aussie accent) :-D
Lunch done, we queued up again and went into the cathedral itself which, although it is amazingly intricately decorated outside, was relatively plain inside in comparison to the church we visited in Naples a couple of days before (probably the one and only trump card Naples has on Florence). It was then time for our appointment with David! We did look around the rest of the gallery for a while but to be true, we (and almost everyone else) was only there to see David. We took a few pics, some selfies and admired the statue
for a while, which was bigger than I had expected. We picked up a few postcards and then headed over to another Piazza which housed the town hall, outside of which there was a replica David (a fair bit smaller) and some other statues. The last key stop of the day was down to the river and xxx
bridge, where we snapped some pictures of the arches.
By this point we were pretty walked out and we had a 45 minute or so walk home to tackle yet (plus 4 flights of stairs again, dammit) so we started our trek down some of the backstreets we hadn't yet explored and aimed ourselves towards e train station, where we needed to make some seat reservations for our Tuesday train to Milan, en it was on home.
After a bit of a chill out and a shower, we headed up the road to a local Italian restaurant which we had seen the day before. I was determined to use a bit of Italian so I asked for a table for two (then followed it up with 'non capisco' when the waiter started babbling back to me in fluent Italian), ordered
and asked for the bill in Italian. Nothing fancy but better than nothing. The food was good and felt authentic, I could see from a commemorative dish on the wall that it had been running for almost 60 years, I had a Parmesan and prosciutto omelette with a mixed salad and Dan had some tortellini, we both had a dollop of Tiramisu for desert and a beer before settling up and heading home. I caught up with Ping and then it was bed time.
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