with thunder, lightening and our arrival in Rome
10.09.2014 - 10.09.2014 22 °C
We awoke early. Florence had decided to show its anger at our eminent departure with a VERY localised and spectacular Lightening and Thunder show. The Roman gods must have been very upset we were leaving, and let us know about it.
The lightening lit the room, and the thunder was directly over head. Then the rain.
This was our last day in Florence, so we had to check out. We packed up our bags and left them in the corner of our apartment, as we were booked on a full day’s guided tour of Florence.
We had our 4 umbrellas, and headed for the Accademia Gallery for the start of our guided tour.
We meet up with our group, and prepared to go into the Accademia. This is when the action started.
We were a group of 25, standing out in the rain. A dodgy looking African street hawker was trying to sell umbrellas and ponchos to anyone and everyone. In your face almost threatening style. One of our group, an American, told him to “Go away, and go away now!!”
Our African friend did not re-act too kindly to this forceful piece of advice. A tirade of Italian abuse erupted. The American just stood his ground, picking at his teeth, as if nothing had happened. This did not help. The tirade went up a notch. Another street vendor, more of Italian origin, chimed in with his penny’s worth. I think he also tried to tell him to go away, but slightly more diplomatically.
This also did not go down well. Next thing the African’s mates joined the discussion, and all the time the American just kept looking at them non plussed.
Just as I started to flex my muscles and roll up my sleeves, our guide hastily shepherded us into the Accademia. Boy those Africans don’t know how lucky they were.
Inside, out of the rain and the raging Africans, we took in the sights of the gallery. It is a small gallery really, with one major draw card.
But before we saw him, we were shown other works of art and most interestingly musical instruments. These included early Stradivarius violins and pianos.
Then into see Michelangelo’s David.
But before we could get close our guide walked us through about 8 other Michelangelo sculptures. The “unfinished” sculptures. Michelangelo believed that in every block of marble, there was a human shape, just trying to escape. This was very effectively shown in these sculptures.
Then we walked up to David. The masterpiece of masterpieces of the sculptures. Michelangelo was only 26 when he started sculpturing it, and it took him 3 years to complete. He used a stone of marble that several other artists had started on, but had discarded because of flaws in the marble.
This was his first claim to fame and it shot him to instant stardom.
Then onto the Cathedral Del Duomo. This was our first time inside. A massive church with art work, frescos and of course its huge and impressive dome.
By then it was lunch time. We headed back to our apartment, to rescue our luggage.
We dragged it up the street in rain, to the management offices of the apartment for safe keeping for the afternoon.
The rain was getting worse, so we bought a couple of ponchos, and headed into the cover of a Pizzeria for lunch.
We had just enough time to have lunch, have one last look at the leather markets, where I proudly bought a leather Man Bag…. watch out Invercargill!!
Then back to meet up with the afternoon group for the second part of our guided tour. The Uffizi Gallery. Sorry Florence and the art loving world.
Sadly after 8 weeks of travelling, numerous museums, galleries and churches, this was just one bridge too far.
Our tour ended in time to gather our luggage, get a taxi to the Train Station and head to Rome.
We arrived in Rome at about 8.15 pm. We got a taxi to our apartment. We got ripped off. We got an official taxi. We were staying in a small street and the taxi driver had to consult his map several times (while driving), and finally deposited us outside.
It was only a 10 minute walk if we had known where to go. The taxi ride probably took longer, and he was at FULL speed. We had our luggage, and we know they charge for luggage as well, but at 45 Euro, we were ripped off.
We were in no state to argue.
Into our apartment, and our host was there to meet us. A great apartment, but the best thing was she had provided the basics for us to cook our own diner and breakfast.
Pasta, a pasta sauce, bread, jams etc. God bless her.
A quick dinner and we collapsed into bed.