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Wednesday, August 6, 1997


Patti and Brian/Patti and Monster Boy in Florence

[Patti] Today we spent the day in Florence. It was a bit of a quiet day for us. The number of tourists was rather overwhelming and we found ourselves drawn to sights and activities that did not require us to stand for hours in lines.

We started out at the Palazzo Vecchio. It is located in a large square with a large number of impressive statues. In front of the palace stand both a copy of Michelangelo's David and Fontana del Biancone, a cool fountain depicting Neptune and a bunch of other mythical type folks. To one side of the palace, there is an arched shelter called the Loggia dei Lanzi. Just kind of hanging out under the shelter are at least half a dozen more serious sculptures.

We spent quite a bit of time at the Duomo, a very large church in the center of town. It was started in around 1000, then finished over the course of the next 400 or so years. As far as making things grand, these folks were not fooling around. The place is huge. There is a big open area when you first walk in. When you get to the back, there's the main altar area, then about 4 smaller areas and a crypt to boot. Brian and Cameron were up for a challenge and decided to climb the zillion stairs into the top of the dome, nearly 500 steps. They came back down completely drenched in sweat.

Cameron checks out graffiti on the way up/View from the top

We went directly from the Duomo to a cafeteria type place on the square. Brian immediately spotted a big mug full of red watermelony looking stuff. He had no idea what it was called, but got one by pointing. One sip cleared up the mystery. He says it was clearly "the nectar of the gods." (Personally, I think he was just really thirsty, but I have to admit, the stuff was great.)

We thought about braving the line at the Galleria dell'Accademia (where the statue of David resides) or the Uffizi (choke full of Botticellis), but we grew faint of heart and opted for a nap with the idea that we will get up early and try to beat the lines tomorrow.

After a healthy nap, we got up and went out for dinner in the square with all the statues. We picked a pleasant one with outdoor seating and a very nice waiter. We have now fully adapted ourselves to the Italian way of dining. Appetizer, a first plate of pasta, a second plate of meat or fish, salad, dessert. We have actually taken it upon ourselves to improve on this progression by adding in a final course of gelati, delicious Italian ice cream, on our way home.

Tonight we took some important photos here in Florence. We definitely needed one of Kaelen doing his impression of David and, of course, a picture of Brian in front of Contes of Florence was an absolute must!

Kaelen as David/Brian's Favorite Store in Florence