We had planned for today to be a reasonably quiet day of wandering the streets of Florence, looking for interesting things with nothing special planned, except visiting the statue of David. I started the morning with my usual coffee expedition, then returned to the apartment for breakfast with the rest of the family.
We headed out toward the Duomo and on the way we noticed an Apple store, so I had to pop in there for a look. I'll likely have to return here to buy an external drive to store all my pictures on, as I managed to leave my spare one at home (doh!). We then moved on to The Duomo, bell tower and Baptistery. These buildings are very impressive with the amount of white and green marble adorning the outside of the building. The inside of the Duomo is equally impressive. We noticed a magnum store in the plaza and had a look but unfortunately it was closed. Interesting concept, a design your own magnum ice-cream. Could be slightly dangerous.....
Walking along we noticed the Leonardo Da Vinci museum. They were offering an entry ticket plus lunch for 10 euro each, which was too good an offer to refuse. The museum was excellent, lots of interactive exhibits to explain all of his inventions and improvements he made during his life time. Emma got quite a science lesson, and it was lots of fun.
On the way out we noticed a toy shop so of course we had to have a look in there, and I ended up buying my father a Ferrari.... We then kept walking and found a supermarket where we picked up a few supplies and Sue found some soup she liked. Further along the road we noticed the Amsterdam Chip shop, where the only thing they sell is hot Dutch style chips with lots of sauce options, including of course the Dutch default option of mayonnaise, which if you have never tried hot chips with mayo, you haven't lived. Its an awesome combination. Unfortunately this time we ordered them with BBQ sauce as thats Emma's favourite, which was still delicious none the less. A few metres further down the road we also noticed a french fry pizza. Didn't sample that one.
We found the museum that houses the Statue of David and the queue to buy tickets and gain entry was massive, but a few meters down the road is a ticket office where you can pre-purchase tickets for an extra 4 euro booking fee, then march straight past the queue into the museum (Galleria dell'Accademia). The statue is mightily impressive, however I thought some of Michelangelo's incomplete sculptures where just as impressive as you could see how he constructed them with the chisel marks in the marble.
Headed towards the central market, unfortunately we got there just on 3pm when they start to close up, but it looks like they have some fantastic produce shops in there. There were one or two still open, so out of interest we bought a couple of oranges, apples and lemons just to try. The oranges and lemons were massive, I've photographed them next to a standard sized banana to give a sense of the true scale of these massive fruits. From here we checked out a few more leather shops and then headed back to the apartment for a bit of a rest and enjoyed some wine, pesto and crackers (and more soaking up of the Tuscan atmosphere of this awesome apartment).
Headed out to look over the leather market, which is actually only a few metres from the apartment, and the girls bought a few bags and things before we walked over the Ponte Vecchio towards the Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco restaurant which was recommended to us (hello Lara and Matt!), and what an awesome recommendation it was, the food was outstanding, I had a peppery beef stew, Sharon had a pasta with deer ragu sauce, Paul had a wild boar ragu and Emma had a massive veal chop. Emma's meal was massive and even more impressive she completely finished it. On the way home we stopped on the Ponte Vecchio for some pictures at dusk.
We have a pretty big day with an early start tomorrow to see Pisa, San Gim and Sienna tomorrow, and I'm slightly worried I might miss my early morning coffee!, we will see...
Statue of David
I can't resist the lure of an Apple store...
Impressive marble on the churches
Inside the Duomo.
Mmmm, Magnum store.
Pity its only a model...
At the da Vinci museum
Practical science lesson for Emma. Heaps of fun here.
More pizza for lunch.
Oh my goodness, the chips !!!
Anyone for chip pizza ?
Blessed are the cheese makers !
The fruit is stunning. Not much tropical fruit though....
Did I mention how tiny the lift in the apartment building is ?
Wine and Pesto time.
Emma rubbing the nose of the wild boar at the market.
Girls shopping collection