Saturday, June 27, 2009

italy, day 6  

posted by Michael Piwonka 7:48 PM
After a nice breakfast at the hotel, we took a casual stroll among the street vendors. It's amazing to watch how they set up each morning, carefully arranging their goods, haggling with tourists all day, then putting everything away in the evening, leaving almost no trace of the day's activities.

I bought Mason a jersey from one of the vendors.

By midmorning, we had made our way to the Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi), considered one of the greatest galleries in the world. Once again, we were treated to masterpieces by the likes of da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. Just as was the case at the Vatican, there were so many great works of art that we couldn't begin to take all of it in. We relied, as usual, on our audio tour to guide us to the most important works.

We didn't catch Allie inside the gallery, but were able to run into her at a sidewalk cafe just outside. She looked completely rested and happy, unlike the exhausted, jet-lagged Allie we met in Rome.

She and her group were bubbling about what they had seen, where they'd been, and what they'd bought. The others told me that Allie is "quite the shopper". (Of course, I already knew that!)

They were particularly excited because they had just seen Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon inside the gallery. I didn't see Ozzy while I was there, but they said he was helplessly calling for Sharon about something, a scene that has become his public persona over the last few years.

We walked around the city in the evening, before ending up back at the Duomo again. We arrived in time to watch local officials set up for the 70th annual nocturnal 10K race, which started at 9pm. We watched a preliminary race earlier in the evening, which consisted of 4-member teams running a relay around the beautiful Duomo complex. We joined the crowds in cheering the contestants on.

We discovered a wonderful restaurant that evening, il Giardino di Barbano, right next door to our hotel. We watched another Confederation's Cup match, as Spain defeated South Africa 2-0.

Photos from Florence can be found here.

(To read more, here are links to days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 of the trip.)


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random. arbitrary. completely unnecessary. yet refreshingly therapeutic.

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