Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 3, Hubs and I Take on the Italian Transit Strike in Florence

When we checked into our hotel after our long trans-Atlantic flight and then our long trans-Italia train ride (okay, it wasn't that long, Italy isn't that big) we were informed by the hotel staff that our tour for the Uffizi had been cancelled due to a transit strike.  What? 

I called the tour company, they explained that transit workers would be on strike that Friday and that the gallery would likely not be open so they wanted to re-book our tour on another day or on another tour.  Our itinerary didn't allow for this, so we opted for a refund and freaked out a little that we probably wouldn't be able to see the museum we were most excited about.  Cue furious Googling on my iPhone to figure out what the heck was going on.  One thing my Googling mentioned, during strikes to expect public demonstrations and street closures for parades.  I paused to contemplate this.  I, slightly disgruntled with my current work situation, had brief flashes of me joining the Italians to protest my BS paycheck compared to my workload.  Sure I don't work in the Italian transportation industry, but I'm sure I could explain to them my beef and I bet they'd totally let me join their demonstrations.  Also I briefly had visions of the hubs bailing me out of an Italian jail the next morning as a result of my protests against "the man" holding me down.  No, today was not the day to join an Italian labor demonstration.

So back to the Uffizi.  You are supposed to make a reservation to go in, lest you have to wait an obscene length of time in line to go in.  These reservations book up months in advance.  We had made no such reservation since it was covered in our tour.  Which was now cancelled.  We decided to take our chances anyways and loiter around in that line (which was quite short because no one thought the museum would be open) while the staff that had come in met to decide if they had enough people to open the museum.  We didn't have to wait long, they decided to open and we were IN!
Inside the Palazzo Vecchio, brief detour on the way to the Uffizi

Palazzo Vecchio

The Uffizi
Once we were inside we cued up our Rick Steeves audio guide and got a guided tour of the gallery at a tiny fraction of the cost that we would have paid for our live guided tour, FTW!  My favorite works were Botticelli's Primavera and The Birth of Venus. 

View of the river and bridges from the Uffizi window
After our tour of the Uffizi we hoofed it back to the Duomo for a slice of pizza and to follow Rick Steeve's Renaissance Walk through the city.

Inside the Duomo
We started at the Duomo and walked back through the city viewing all the buildings and sites of interests from the Renaissance.  Finally we ended up back at the Ponte Vecchio (yeah, we walked all over creation on this trip).
I made Darryl drink out of the fountain, we didn't know how to do this the "right way" until we reached Rome

Us on the Ponte Vecchio, a Medieval bridge
The globe room at the Galileo Museum
As if our robust trek back and forth across the city wasn't enough, we decided to squeeze in the Galileo Museum, which is basically their history of science museum.  It was neat, they had some super old maps.  And when I say super old, I mean pre-Columbus-the-world-is-flat-look-out-you're-gonna-fall-off-the-edge maps, which to see an original of, is pretty cool.  And we saw some neat globes and lots of tools and survey equipment.  Back in the 1700s when people would have parties they would do physics demonstrations so they had all sorts of machines that generated electrical charges and did all sorts of things that I guess would entertain a people prior to the invention of reality television. 

It was a pretty interesting museum, uncrowded, and well air conditioned.  But our bodies were getting tired so back to the hotel (on the completely opposite side of the city again of course) we went for a little rest.

That night we went to a little restaurant we'd discovered on our stroll the night before.  We settled down with some of the house table wine and had a little appetizer which was basically ham, tomato, basil, and cheese toasted.

I had the wild boar pappardelle.

And D had a pork chop with rosemary potatoes.  For dessert, I think we had tiramisu.  I learned that while D hates tiramisu in the states (the lady fingers are generally way oversoaked with liquor flavor) he likes proper Italian tiramisu.  Imagine my relief.  I typically don't care if he doesn't like the things I do because that means there's just more for me, but desserts are often shared and I was scared I would be scarfing down the tiramisu solo on this trip and was pleasantly surprised.

Then we found D some gellato (he ate this 2x a day people, not even joking) and strolled back to the hotel to rest up for our biking tour of the Tuscan wine country the next morning!

1 comment:

The Waspy Redhead said...

In case there was any doubt in our minds... you and Darryl are the cutest little yuppy couple EVA! You with your popped collar around Italy - I'm dying from the perfection really.

Also I need that pasta in my mouth right now.