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Day 12, the Uffizi and more

Our second full day in Florence was as full as the first. When we first arrived in the city and picked up our Firenze cards, there was a brief moment of panic as we took in the long list of visiting possibilities compared the the short number of days at our disposal. There is a lot to see in Florence. A lot. But the good news is that the old city center is relatively small, and pretty much everything is walkable. The further good news for us was that, thanks to the cards, some planning ahead, and our being there outside of peak tourist season, we spent very little of our little time waiting in lines.

Still, we spent our first evening planning every minute of every day so as to maximize the time and get to as many sites as we could. It reminded me a bit of Disney planning—deciding which activities are most important and then planning which lines will be shortest when and how to get to them all. This may have added to the carnival feel I got from the city as a whole.

So, our second full day in Florence was as full as the first. We focused on the Uffizi, the Galileo Science Museum, The Basilica of Santa Croce, the inside of the Duomo, and the Church of Orsanmichel. The Uffizi was amazing, but does not allow pictures, though I accidentally snagged the photo button a few times while I was trying to take notes on the various pieces of art, so I have a couple of shots to mark the visit there. The Galileo museum did allow photography, and was surprisingly enjoyable. Although, like the Casa di Dante, it had little that was actually Galileo's, unlike Dante's sort-of-maybe-almost museum, Galileo's provided lots to see, read, learn, and do. They had wonderful videos that demonstrated how many of the pieces were made, used, and worked. Plus they had lots of very old globes, clocks, and telescopes, and I love very old globes, clocks, and telescopes.

The Basilica of Santa Croce, a.k.a. the church with all the most famous dead people in Florence, was one of hte most simple churches, but one of the more beautiful for it as well. We followed our visit there with a trip inside the Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) to see the dome from the floor below. As beautiful as it the duomo is outside, the inside was a little of a let down, but the Baptistry across the way was hiding a surprisingly golden dome behind Ghiberti's famous doors. And Orsanmichele was exciting mostly for the ring of statues set in its walls, particularly the St. George and the Dragon by Donatello.

We finished with beer, and some time to rest our feet before a delightful dinner outdoors on a small square near the Palazzo Pitti. 

Resting our feet at the Uffizi
Birth of Venus, by Botticelli, housed at the Uffizi

The Portrait of Leo X, by Raphael, housed at the Uffizi

The Galileo Science Museum

The Basilica di Santa Croce

Galileo's tomb

Michelangelo's tomb


Santa Maria del Fiore

Plaque to Brunelleschi

Dome inside the Baptistry

Church of Orsanmichele

Donatello's St. George and the Dragon

On the Arno near the Ponte Vecchio

Standing under the Vasari Corridor

The Vasari Corridor over the Ponte Vecchio

clams for dinner!

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