Traveling: The Accademia! The Uffizi! and More!

Our second full day in Florence was a museum day specifically dealing with the Accademia and the Uffizi. We hadn’t planned on going to either one and the lines are terribly long to get into both of them. I convinced Cristina we needed to find tickets by any means necessary. Using Viator.com, we were able to buy a package, an expensive one, which included guided tours to both.

Due to the inconsistent bus pick up times, we actually got to Florence proper extremely early. We decided to kill time by getting breakfast which for me consisted of a prosciutto, mozzarella and egg sandwich which was great way to start the day. Boiled eggs and Tuscan ham are a great combination.

Still having time to kill before our visit to the Accademia, we toured the San Marco Museum. A great little museum with a fascinating collection of paintings from Fra Angelico. In fact, the Museum is a former monastery with the cells containing many of the paintings. We were both glad we had the extra time to take in this museum.

We then went wait outside the Accademia. We noticed how much graffiti was on the wall. One piece of graffiti really caught our attention. Right next door to the main entrance was written the words that identify anyone from our little corner of the world: “Who Dat!” We looked at each other incredulously.  Today was really shaping up to be a great day.

Who Dat! in Florence

The language of the Saints is a universal language

Finally we met with our tour guide. We were given wireless headphones so we could hear our tour guide speak. However, it wasn’t really a guided tour of the Accademia. She only spoke about the entrance and one person. Michelangelo. After explaining to us the detail art work of a hope chest, she took us to the main room. The room with the David. The real David.  But first, she directed our attention to some unfinished pieces from the master including another pieta. I really love the unfinished works, works Michelangelo considered finished, because the figures really do seem to be trying to escape from the stone. They seem one step from being alive. We then moved on to the David. Here is when things took a turn. Not for the worse but maybe for the creepy. This woman liked the David a little too much. Especially his “perfect” backside. So distracted she was with David’s buttocks that Cristina was able to take a picture of the David even though photography is expressly forbidden.

Michelangelo's David

Guerilla Photography

This was the end of the guided tour. We were left to wonder on our own in the museum which we did. We then left and looked for lunch. We decided to be touristy and eat in the Piazza Della Signoria. We both ordered pasta, mine being seafood; Cristina’s was probably infused with lots and lots of cheese.

Frutti di Mare

Frutti di Mare (Fruit of the Sea) pasta

We had plenty of time before our date with the Uffizi so we headed to Basilica di Santa Croce. The Holy Cross church is the final resting place of a who’s who of great Italians  including Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Dante, and Galileo. The amount of greatness in the room was a little daunting.

Basilica di Santa Croce

Basilica di Santa Croce aka Temple of the Italian Glories

After paying our respects, we headed to the Uffizi. Unfortunately, it was an extremely hot day. I was starting to become ill. It was heat exhaustion. I purchased a liter of water and drank it straight. I also had a cup of gelato. Both helped tremendously.  In my head, it was really the gelato that made me feel better.

Our tour of the Uffizi was amazing. Our tour guide was both knowledgeable and enthusiastic. She seemed to have so much fun sharing the treasures of that great museum that it became infectious. She was so good, Cristina didn’t even think about taking a picture in the museum. With masterpieces from Leonardo, Botticelli, Giotto, Titian, Michelangelo and Raphael, to just name a few, this is a must see in your lifetime museum. I want to tell you more about the Uffizi, but really you should just start saving your money.

The River Arno from The Uffizi Gallery

The only photography allowed in the Uffizi: The River Arno

We concluded our last day in Florence with a slice of pizza and prepared for our trip to Pescara which you can read about here.

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