From the Duomo we made our way to another square, the name of which escapes me, but it's the main square in Florence. Here the David used to stand. There is currently supposed to be a copy there, but it was under construction along with Hercules beside it. We did, however, get to view Neptune in all his glory.
The whole square was quite amazing. I really enjoyed all the horse drawn carriages and the one who was having a little snack. Here, also, was the memorial to Savanarola that my dad asked me to look for.
At the end of the square there were a number of really amazing statues including: The Rape of the Sabines, Hercules fighting the Centaur, and someone of magnificent stature (in other words, I can't remember his name) holding the head of Medusa aloft. All the statues were hugely impressive, but I can't post ALL my pictures. This way I'll still have something new to show people when I come home :)
We passed through a passage way next to the Uffizi, which is a really famous gallery where the works of Boticelli reside (but sadly we never got inside), surrounded by the statues of famous Floretines and Tuscans. Laura was particularly pleased to find Petrarch there. She wrote a large portion of her thesis about him, and he will feature strongly in a later post.
When we came to the end of the passage we found ourselves standing above the river Arno with a veiw of il Ponte Vecchio, an ancient bridge that has long housed merchant shops.
By this point the boys were getting really hungry, so they convinced us it was time to sample some Italian cuisine. Naturally, along the way, we found ourselves in another amazing square with this incredible cathedral, and my favorite Dante statue :)
We did eventually get to the food, and it was well worth it. I had an amazing Margharita pizza. It was spectacular I must say.
After lunch we were all beginning to run down a bit. We'd already seen a lot of really incredible things, and we were starting to wonder if we might smell a bit. This prompted us to really up our search for towels. Let me just say that the center of Florence is more the place you go to see art, eat in really fancy restaurants, buy souvenirs, or shop in boutiques. It's not where you go for common household goods like towels. Especially if you don't want to pay 30 Euros for them. Fortunately, however, we did find us a little Dollar Store type place which sold hand towels. Not very practical you say? Well, beggars can't be choosy, and we were starting to feel like we really looked like bums, so we made our small purchases and headed back for the hostel.
I won't lie. The towels were horrible. They weren't big enough to do much of anything, and served more to move water around than to actually dry anything, but it seemed at least a little step above putting our clothes on without at least attempting to dry ourselves off.
When we parted ways the boys were planning to take naps, and after the cold shower room, Laura was ready to be still for a bit. After making my bed and letting my hair dry a wee bit, I opted to do a little exploring seeing as how holding still would likely lead to sleep on my side as well, and I knew that would be the end of me being able to function for the rest of the day. So out I went, and I took in some nice views both inside and outside our hostel.
When I went back inside we all met up and headed back into the city to enjoy a little walk around at night. While the others were excited to have dinner, I was still really full from lunch. I'm not accustomed to eating a whole pizza by myself, and had already decided that was the end of my meals for the day. I did, however, break down and have some Gelato, because, quite honestly, who can resist Gelato? Well, except for Jonathan who is allergic to eggs. For my first sampling I had half Tiramisu and half Panne cotta. I was commended that both were very Italian choices, and they were definitely both exquisitely smooth and delicious. If presentation is everything, the Italian's would already win, but the flavor definitely takes them over the top!
So now you have day one in pictures. I've got to say that Florence was an amazing city. I would definitely recommend it to anyone needing a stamp in their passports :)