August 2010 - Italy

Still stuffed from last night’s dinner I declined breakfast this morning, asking Dad to swipe an apple from the fruit bowl downstairs on his way back up (there is fruit in our room just not apples). Now it was time to visit a ten foot solid naked man who’s been drawing in crowds for years.

I am of course talking of the statue of David. And AMAZING he is. He looks down on the main corridors of the Accademia, towering over everyone on a platform so you can see him from every angle. Even from far away you can appreciate why it is a masterpiece. No photos though.

David is quite a site to see, when hundreds of Disney cruise ship people aren’t around. Fortunately we were able to beat most of the traffic with reserved tickets (I don’t know how anyone stands in these queues). We took a seat and admired his butt in between walking around to observe him at every possible angle. Dad still raves about him even though it is the second time he has seen the statue, marvelling at the muscle definition and veins in his hands. I don’t think you can get tired of looking at that man.

The other impressive room is the plaster room for a handful of marble sculptures littered around the city. Heads and bodies, children and men and woman. There were also unfinished marble Sculptures of Michelangelo’s which gave you an instant appreciation for how hard it must be and how talented a vision to see what an artist sees in a rectangular rock of marble.

We attacked the rest of the museum, which was mostly 13th century church related art. Coronation of the Virgin this and Coronation of the Virgin that (she got around).

Anyhow with our culture fill for the day we headed to the shops and surprisingly a couple of hours later we returned to the Hotel empty handed. Now remember that the Hotel is in two buildings? Well they asked us yesterday if we would be willing to move from the Conventino side to the Palazzo (main building). Next week they were running very low occupancy and wanted to close Conventino and apparently we were the only guests staying on that side until the 26th. We decided to move, new perspective and the thought that it would be rather spooky if we were the only guests on the other side of the Hotel. We moved after a VERY filling half a club sandwich at the pool restaurant.

And that was the point where I could have gone to sleep.

Our room was slightly bigger than the last on the top floor of the Palazzo (4). There were only three rooms other rooms on the floor in our area and the theme was green, like deep emerald green furniture, green walls, green marble. I think I preferred this room, mainly due to the oversized walkin wardrobe.

It was 3pm before we were out of the Hotel again, this time taking the car to the Michelangelo Piazzale for a view of Firenze in the stinking stinking hot. We jumped out took a few pictures, admired the view for a little longer then jumped back into the air conditioned car and headed to the other side of the city to Frisole (small town about 15 mins out of Firenze) for another view and one very steep hill to the lookout point. This time to escape the heat we found some shade from the trees.

Dad stopped traffic when trying to turn around on a very narrow road. Should have taken the left out of the carpark and not the right, would have made life so much easier. We had been given instructions on how to get to these places, we just didn’t ask for any to get back, Tom was packed away and of course we took a wrong turn. Here I am looking at a map having little or no idea where we are, asking Mum to give me crossroads so I can start to find us. Tom came out but gave no assistance at all because he couldn’t find the satellites and clearly wanted me to find us by myself. Fortunately a few minutes later I did exactly that and another 5 minutes we were back at the Hotel.

All I wanted to do was sleep but I had to get ready for drinks with Elisa and a ride in Firenze on her scooter. So much fun, we zipped through the city and over to the other side of the Arno where there is a beach area (of sorts) but I certainly wouldn’t be game enough to swim in that water (I think people just go there to sunbake). Elisa chose this bar right on the waterfront and we drank the ‘in summer drink’ of Spritz (not bad). We gossiped for two hours straight, catching up on each other’s lives and chatting about FS. Elisa was on limited time because she had to head out and do the shopping for tomorrow’s dinner and just as we are about to leave they start bringing out the food. Antipasto. FREE. If you buy a drink around 7pm you are entitled to eat their food and it is not just one plate. Its bread and dips, cous cous, pasta salads, this tomato and bread soupy thing. You buy A DRINK and get this all for FREE. I couldn’t get over it.

It was a shame we had to leave right on 8pm because the sun was setting and it was beautiful to sit on the river front and drink where the locals do, like the locals do. Dropped back off at the Hotel and a casual dinner in the bar where Mum and I shared a pizza and soon after that I was zonked out, but not before watching some amazing circus acts from this Monte Carlo festival.