By now, most of my friends had already been to Florence, and I started to think that I’d have to make a trip by myself. But then I heard Bri was taking a day trip with a class there and wanted to spend the rest of the weekend there – so I offered her my company.
I took the train into Florence Friday morning, and the first thing I did was head to the Galleria Accademia, where Michelangelo’s David is displayed. There’s a copy of him in one of the squares, but it’s just not the same as seeing the real one! He’s much larger than I expected, and so detailed! There’s a vein in his right hand that I marveled at for a while. There was just something about it that made him feel very human.
I then headed to Santa Croce, where the gold-encrusted head of Saint Umilana (an artifact I have studied immensely for my Saints and Sinners class at Umbra) is kept. After I got out, I met Bri – and Annie, who we then had to walk to the train station so she could go back to Perugia. Then Bri and I rushed through the Uffizi (because it was closing), strolled across the Ponte Vecchio, walked through Santa Maria Novella (the church that the main Florence train station is named for as they are neighbors), and had dinner outside the Uffizi at a restaurant we thought was packed with locals that actually turned out to be a French school group.
The next day started with climb up to the dome of the duomo (but not the bell tower because ≈463 steps up the duomo was enough), followed by a [free] historical walking tour of Florence, and a trip to the baptistery. The outside of the baptistery is completely covered in unattractive scaffoldings, but the inside is one room that is absolutely gorgeous. There’s a square on the floor right in the center that you are supposed to stand in and look up and get the best view of the gold-coated rotund ceiling.
We then met up with our previous tour guide for a Medici-focused tour of Florence. However, we left about halfway through in order to have time to see the Medici Palace. It really wasn’t what I was expecting; it was just a couple period rooms and then an art exhibit. I also wasn’t expecting running into the artist of the exhibition, a little old man who has been doing art for 50 years. He politely have us his autograph and invited us to sign his guest book. But it was no big deal – we had just gotten the signature of the artist currently featured in the Medici Palace. Whatevs!
So then Bri and I went on our way to the station and caught the next train back to Perugia after what was a very short, very busy few days in Florence.