Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Full Day in Florence

Today we have a full day, which is surprising for us as we try not to fill our days with too much but with only two days in Florence we have had to reserve a few things and today is one of those days.

The alarm goes off at 745!  But we take our time waking up. First I am wondering "where the heck am I".  Four different beds in six days!  But as I wake and realize I am in Florence Italy!

Bernie makes tea and we enjoy some orange juice, cereal and tea with some fruit.  It is nice to have the space and time this morning to have some normal comforts.

We leave around 9:15 and we have a few things planned.

We are early for our tour so we stop at a coffee shop and enjoy our espresso at the counter.  Okay we are fuelled up for the day.

First thing planned is a walking tour that we booked thru Viator.  This is the first time I have ever used them. It is a great site that acts as a middleman for tour providers and the tourists. It is easy to navigate, book, pay for and receive tickets. 

This walking tour is 2.5 hours and is reasonably priced and we see a lot.  Here is a link to the tour we booked.  There was around 16 in our group and we were given earphones and receivers so we can hear our guide easily.  I really like this as we don't have to bunch around her to hear but can stand back at a site and hear her and take in the whole area.

We visit Orsanmichele Church first

Piazza della Republica

hmm a segway tour could be fun

Then to the Baptistry and doors and The Duomo

top of the Duomo which you can climb

Medici Palace

San Lorenzo Church

Santa Maria Novella Church and Piazza (we didn't go in the church)

Then across the Ponte Santa Trinta to Santo Spirito Church

A quick gelato stop that is included in the tour.

Pitti Palace

Ponte Vecchio

see the crowds trying to get on the bridge

Piazza della Signoria

Okay we are done!  The Piazza is busy (again we find it crazy but everyone keeps saying this is nothing you should see it in the summer).

We want to get away from the crowds and we stroll down a narrow street (Borgo dei Greci) for a few blocks till the crowds are minimal.  We spot a small family run restaurant - perfect.

Lunch is good, simple, inexpensive and just what we needed. 

We had pre reserved our Uffizi tickets for 1430.  If you haven't read my blog about reserving your tickets for major sites check it out here

Thank goodness we did pre reserve because the line for tickets is long (again not so bad compared to peak season). We go to the booth to pick up our tickets and then to the next door to gain access to the museum.

We have our Rick Steve's audio guides (which are free) downloaded on our phones.  A blog I wrote just about travelling thru Europe with Rick Steves can be found here.

The Rick Steve's audio guide starts out great but then some of the exhibits have moved because of restoration so we had to keep looking for the right spot on the guide to the right art piece.  Patience was in order.

Considering it wasn't very busy we thought it was busy.  Tour groups caused bottle necks.

Crazy how some people just go around taking picture after picture of the art pieces without really looking at the pieces. Why not buy a book with professional pictures of the art then.  Enjoy the art! Don't look at it through a lense.

Personally I found the photographers to be very annoying. People wanted pictures of themselves with the art, this caused more crowds! Also people had a hard time getting around as you had to keep dodging photographers.  Really wish the gallery would just ban photography completely. At least I didn't see too many selfie sticks!

Overall I loved the Ufizzi. The fact I got to see art pieces I have only heard about or read about in person blows me away.  I feel very fortunate that I got to visit.

After two hours in the gallery we are tired. It has been a long day and I need some peace and quiet away from all the people.  Thankfully our apartment is close by.

Bernie naps while I catch up on my blog, read and enjoy some wine.


  1. Hi Vickie
    Viator is using your photos you took on their web site
    Congrats..... looks great !

    1. Thanks Tom, I actually did a review and posted the photos