No more Bologna, time for Bisteca

We said arrivederci to Bologna this morning.  It was a bittersweet farewell in that we really enjoyed our time there, but it is time to move on.

Time to get on the train, say arrivederci to Bologna, and buon giorno to Florence

The train ride to Florence was less than spectacular.  We spent almost all the time in tunnels.  We forgot there were hills/mountain as you head into Tuscany.

When we arrived in Florence, we had already decided to take a taxi to our Airbnb (which we were able check into early).  Well, there was a long line waiting for taxis at the train station, but things moved along quite well.  Once in the taxi, Dave decided quickly that this was not a city in which he any interest to drive.  Between crazy, winding streets and pedestrians, he probably would still be driving now.

We checked into the Airbnb at about 12:45. It is a nice place.  Significantly small than the place we left in Bologna, but it will work out just fine.  It gives new meaning to an open floor plan concept.  Yes, the entry, dining room, living room, and bedroom are all one space.

View from entry
Dining, living, and bedroom

A quick disclaimer … the next section of today’s blog is rated PG-13.

After settling in at the apartment, we headed out for our reservation at the Uffizi Gallery.  We got there a little late, but it wasn’t an issue.  Below are some of the pictures we took during our 2-1/2 hours stroll through the gallery.  Dave questions whether they just wore less clothing in the time these pictures were painted and sculptures were sculpted or whether artists just like nude models.

Madonna and Child
Battle of San Romana by Paolo Uccello
Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist, St. Mary Magdelen, St. Cosmas, St. Damian, St., St. Francis, and St. Catherine of Alexandria by Botticelli
Spring by Botticelli
Madonna of the Rose Garden by Botticelli
The Birth of Venus by Botticelli
Coronation of The Virgin with Angels by Botticelli
Items in Tribuna room at the Uffizi Gallery
The Tribuna at the Uffizi
Items in the Tribuna at the Uffizi Gallery (item from Medici collection)
The Tribuna at the Uffizi
Madonna and Child by Pellegrino di Mariano
St. Mary Magdalene, the Virgin Mary, and St. John the evangelist mourning the dead of Christ
Madonna and Child with St. Peter and St. Mariana by Pietro di Niccolo; Duia
Madonna and Child by Cima da Conegliano (it was Linda’s favorite of the day)
Crucifiction by Marco Palmezzano
Holy Family with young St. John the Baptist by Niccolo’ Pisano
Ceiling in hallway of Uffizi Gallery
Adoration of the Magi by Ghirlandrio
Annunciation by Leonardo DiVinci
Our Lady of Sorrows by Hans Memling
Holy Family with young St. John the Baptist by Michelangelo
Statue of Cupid
Expulsion from Paradise by Pontormo (we included this only because of the severity of the piece)
Rabbi by Rembrandt
Portrait of a Young Man by Rembrandt

In addition to the beautiful works of are, the Uffizi Gallery also offered a couple of vantage points for nice views of the city.

View from Uffizi Gallery
View up the Arno River from the Uffizi Gallery (Pointe Vecchio Bridge is first bridge)

We then stopped to have gelato.  Linda had pistachio and wild berry yogurt.  Dave had Stracciatella (sweet cream chocolate chip) and Stracciatella con caffe (chocolate chip with coffee).  All were delicious.  We continued our walk home and stopped at a grocery store in the neighborhood.  We bought a liter of milk, two 1-1/2 liters of water, and a small can of hair lacquer for Linda.  In total it cost €2.85 with the lacquer being the big cost at €1.22.  The water was €0.24.  We also saw that Aperol cost less than €14.00 for a 750ml bottle.

Linda enjoying her gelato

We then took a breather until it was time to head to dinner at 19:30.

We had a nice walk along the river on the way to dinner and saw a beautiful sunset.

Window flowers near apartment
Evening gondola ride on the Arno River
Sunset along the Arno River (we loved all the people on the bridge)
Okay, it didn’t look like this, but it was fun to take this photo
Sunset along the Arno River
Gondolas on Arno River

Then we had a magnificent dinner at Osteria di Giovanni.  It was the most expensive so far, but we had massive amounts of animal protein (no soy here). The meal consisted of a meat/cheese plate, Bistecca steak (at least 1.2 Kg) , lemon sorbet, biscotti, creme brulee, and one espresso. We were definitely full. Glad all we had earlier in the day was gelato and a little leftover prosciutto.

Fried bread
Oops, the food was so tempting we forgot to take a picture before we started eating. The antipasto had two types of prosiutto, two types of salami, sheep cheese, crostini with liver pate, and tomato bruschetta
Roasted potatoes and Steak Bistecca
Lemon sorbet and biscotti
Creme brulee

We then walked home along the river and up near Pitti Palace (we’ll see it in the light tomorrow). After that meal, walking as much as we could was critical.  Quite a bit of walking tomorrow.  Starting “early” in the city center and then another walk by us in the Oltrarno in the afternoon.  Stay tuned.

Nearly full moon over the Arno River