• europe,  italy,  travel

    Endless ceilings – Day 14

    Photos A sadly abbreviated post, but at least something for the record! My last day in Florence was a relaxing one, as I made my way around the gorgeous Palazzo Vecchio. It was just a never-ending parade of gorgeous ceilings, painted with scenes of mythological figures such as the trials of Hercules.

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    Statues and paintings and tapestries…oh my! – Day 13

    Photos As I’m horrible at keeping up with things, this will be a highly abbreviated summary of the day’s events. Today was the day for the Uffizi Gallery, and I had tickets booked for the afternoon. Before I went, I popped into the Bargello National Museum, which is primarily devoted to sculptures (one of my favourite art forms). After perusing its extensive sculpture collection, I headed to the Uffizi. Its collection was massive, though I was a bit sad that…

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    The other David – Day 12

    Photos It was to be a relatively relaxing day, as the only “cultural” activity I had planned was visiting the Galleria dell’Accademia to see David (the other one) in the late afternoon. I did plan to get in all of my shopping, so I made my way across the river mid-morning to do some browsing. My first stop was back at the Mercato Centrale, as I had a few requests from back home for silk scarves and tasty balsamic vinegar.

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    Reveling in the opulence of the Palazzo Pitti – Day 11

    Photos I had a fairly leisurely start, rolling out the door mid-morning. The only thing on my agenda was the extensive Pitti Pallace and Boboli Gardens. Housed within various wings of the palace were several museums, including the Palatine Gallery, Costume Gallery, Silver Museum, among others, as well as the Royal Apartments. Luckily my apartment was only a brief walk away, so it wasn’t long before I had two tickets in hand (bizarrely, you bought one ticket for the Gardens…

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    God and gastronomy – Day 10

    Photos When traveling alone, I used to get very early starts–eager to pound the pavement and take in the sights. I remember buzzing around Tokyo for a solid 10 hours. Perhaps it’s age or just my deteriorating stamina, but I find it increasingly harder to do a full 8 or 9 hours of walking around, particularly alone. It also doesn’t help that Italians eat fairly late, starting around 8 pm–ironically, that isn’t actually late for me, as David and I…

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    Wandering in wonder in Florence – Day 9

    Photos As Angela was headed to the airport at 6 am, we were both up not long after 5 am. This gave me plenty of time to get myself ready and finish tidying up the apartment, as my train wasn’t until 10:30 am. It was a remarkably quick and easy busy ride over to the station, but I’d given myself plenty of time, so I was fairly early. I grabbed a McDonald’s cheeseburger to tide me over until Florence and…

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    Gazing up at the gods of old – Day 8

    Photos Our only major plans for the day were to visit the Galleria Borghese and the surrounding park area. We made our way to catch the metro and managed to catch a train just as it was leaving. It was a bit bizarre getting on, as there were a group of people standing right in the doorway that didn’t move at all, so we had to push our way in. At first, we thought it was just rudeness but continued…

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    Roving the Vatican – Day 7

    Photos This was to be the day for all things holy, as we were to be visiting Vatican City, the seat of Roman Catholic power. As such, we were sure to dress appropriately, with dresses of modest length and cardigans to cover our shoulders in the basilica. Vatican City was a relatively easy metro ride from our stop–a mere 15 minutes–and it wasn’t long before we were walking towards the wall of the tiniest state in the world. It was…

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    Huge and old – Day 6

    Photos After the whirlwind set of sights we had yesterday, we planned a relatively smaller itinerary, though only in the size of the list. One big ticket item was on it: the Colosseum. As our apartment is located in relative walking distance to the site, we decided it might be nice to walk over. Our host had recommended we check out a church on the walk, and so we planned our route accordingly. Despite getting slightly off course, we did…

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    The splendors of Rome – Day 5

    Photos Despite staying up late planning our Rome itinerary, Angela and I both ended up waking up 15 minutes before our alarms went off. We got ourselves ready to go and had a quick bite of some breakfast-type food that our host had kindly provided. We made our way to the nearby Metro station, which was remarkably straightforward to use. It was only a few stops away, so it wasn’t long before we emerged at the Piazza de Spagna. It…