It took a lot to get everyone out of bed this morning after staying up until about midnight watching Gladiator, and we didn’t even finish it! We ran out the door around 10:55 to make an 11 am walking tour about 10 minutes away. We got to the Santa Maria Novella Church about 5 minutes late and the tour had just started. The first few walking tours we have taken were 8 – 15 people. This one was about 40 people and the tour guide was very nice and knowledgeable. We started at the church and walked through a number of important areas of the city, including Republic Square, the Cathedral area (home of the Duomo) and the area near the Uffizi Museum. We met some nice people in the group, including a young exchange student from Hungary who promised to forward some highlights for our stay in Budapest.
After the walking tour we went looking for lunch. I checked YELP! and found the #1 sandwich shop in Florence, which was less than .2 miles from where we were. We headed in that direction and found the shop and the food looked amazing. The only problem was that the line looked to be about an hour long. It was crazy and no one in our group wanted to wait on line, no matter how good the sandwiches are. Obviously there were others that disagreed or the line wouldn’t be so long! So, we found a little restaurant with pasta and pizza and ducked in for lunch. Overall it was a nice meal, but we’ve had better in Italy.
We then took the kids on a walk down the Arno River to look at the Ponte Viccheo and find the top rated gelato shop in Florence called La Carraia. We arrived at the shop and each ordered and spent the next 15-20 minutes standing on one of the bridges across the Arno admiring the scenery and enjoying our gelato. It was a good moment and we all enjoyed the view. We walked back to the apartment and are having a relaxing afternoon. We will have a quiet dinner in the apartment and then wake up early tomorrow to drive through Tuscany and see Pisa, home of the leaning tower.
To a life well lived!