We took a water taxi to the bus station, and headed to Florence. We stopped at a very nice rest stop for lunch - the restrooms were so clean and the food was better than any rest stop I’ve been to in the U.S. I was sad to leave Venice, and as we rolled into Florence, I wasn’t that impressed (I may have been hungry though.)
My tune quickly changed when I saw my room at Hotel Pendini. Holy cow! The rooms were light and airy, and the location was perfect - right next to the Piazza della Repubblica. After a short rest, we took an orientation tour of the city center, visiting Ghiberti’s Baptistery doors on our way to dinner at Giglio Rosso, where I had the best gnocchi of my life. (Seriously, I almost cried.)
We met our local guide, Antonia, a lovely woman with a British accent and a wonderful sense of humor. She led us through the backstreets of Florence and as we walked, it was like I was spending the afternoon with my late grandmother, who was from England. The museum we had tickets for was closed unexpectedly, so we went to the Museo Nazionale del Bargello instead to see Michelangelo’s Bacchus sculpture. Afterwards, we went to our cooking class (see the Classes tab for details).
The following day, we visited the Uffizi and the Accademia Gallery to see David. I’ll never forget walking around the corner and seeing David for the first time. He was much larger than I thought (I was talking about his feet - get your mind out of the gutter!) Afterward, we went for gelato as a group at Venchi. Denna, Laura and I went to the movies to see “A Star is Born” in English (with Italian subtitles). (See Favorite Things section for more information about the theater experience.)