September 27, 2006. The BooBoo de Boboli…

We had wanted to go to Siena and Assisi, but we also wanted to see the David at the Accademia, the Boboli Gardens and some of the Pitti Palace. Our reservation for the Accademia fell smack, dab in the middle of Wednesday, so Siena seemed impossible. We have gotten to the point where we are now saying “Ok… next trip.” – EVEN Shelden is saying it! Speaking of Shelden – he hasn’t gone into a McDonald’s yet!
SO Wednesday dawned and we all got out of our rooms without incident. We walked down to our little Cafe/Bar for our colazione. Here, we are able to order “international breakfast” of eggs, toast coffee, OJ, even ham and bacon. I usually order a panini of cheese and tomato and cappuccino, although this morning I opt for eggs and toast.
We headed to the Boboli Gardens, intending to have lunch afterwards, go to see the David and then split up in the afternoon so that Sue, Jerry and I could go up to the Piazzale Michelangelo and maybe shop at the San Lorenzo Market.
The Boboli Gardens were beautiful; you can climb up the mountain to the top and see some great views of Florence. When we got up to the top, we saw some students painting bisque stepping stones with views of the sky and surrounding buildings and gardens. We found out they were students from the University of Richmond, not art majors, but they were taking an art class in Florence. Looking over their shoulders, many were doing work that was quite good… and they seemed to like their projects.
Boboli Gardens
We spent a beautiful sunny morning at the Gardens. Shelden and Jerry left to go get our reservations for the Accademia. Mark, Sue, Vicki and I went in search of a toilette. We were following signs and Mark had just said “I’m feeling a little funky today.” I think the wine in the Laundromat the night before may have done him in! We girls found a sign for the toilettes, and Mark said, “I think it’s this way.” But we didn’t hear him or chose to ignore him and found them ourselves.
We came out of the ladies room and waited for Mark… then realized after 5 or so minutes he must have gone upstairs. The girls went ahead to look for him and I bought waters for all of us. When I came out, they still hadn’t found Mark. Vicki went back downstairs, Sue and I stood at the exit. Then we started going in and out of the entrance, until I positioned my self at the exit, and Sue went out onto the campo. After 50 minutes of searching, Sue said “I better go find Jerry and Shelden and tell them what’s up.” Vicki and I hung around, got the bathroom attendants to open all the stalls so we could make sure he hadn’t passed out or gotten sick. Then Vicki made three announcements over the paging system. Alas, Mark was no where to be seen. I was getting the feeling that maybe he had gotten pissed off and left on his own. Vicki was sure he wouldn’t have left us. “I wouldn’t leave!!! Would you leave, Peg?” Of course, I wouldn’t!
Finally, we decided to walk back to the hotel in hopes that he would be there. We had just crossed the Ponte Vecchio when we saw him… We’ll just say that my feeling was correct and he was still madder than the wild boar in the Straw Market.
When we reached the meeting place, Sue was sitting at an outdoor table drinking a glass of wine. I quickly joined her and plugged into my I-POD thu avoiding any unpleasant conversation.
The Accademia is a wonderful museum and while the David is the main event, there are some other points of interest. I was particularly captivated by the rooms of antique instruments, complete with listening devices so you could here a serpentine or viol da gamba being played. There were also Contrabasses from the 16th century and some older cellos and violins.
Also at the museum are the unfinished works of Michelangelo, “The Prisoners” He was sculpting these 7 or so statues for the tomb of one of the popes (I can’t remember which one) but had to leave these works to start the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. These sculptures are still impressive and show the anguish of being imprisoned by not-so-nice inner qualities.
We did some shopping and then went up to the Piazzale Michelangelo to see the city from another vantage point and also to see the bronze David.
Florence and the Piazzale Michelangelo
We had dinner and then Vicki, Mark, Jerry and Shelden headed out to the little corner bar of our first night in Florence and Sue and I headed back to the hotel to prepare for our morning departure and for some shut-eye.
Tomorrow, Roma!

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Filed under Family, Italian Adventure, Italy

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