We were able to sleep in today, as our first stop was the Uffizi Gallery, just across the street from our hotel. Taking a tip from Rick Steves’ travel guide, we asked the hotel to make reservations for us at both the Uffizi & Accademia galleries. Without a reservation, you can wait in line for hours to get a ticket. With the reservation, you just walk up to the ticket window at the appointed time and don’t wait at all.
Lisa enjoyed the Uffizi more than I did. I appreciated the history of the paintings and the skill that went into creating them, but I’m just not as “artsy” as Lisa is. We spent about two and a half hours walking through the museum and looking at paintings (and a few sculptures), most from the Renaissance period. The original Birth of Venus was great to see, as was the more titillating Titian Venus of Urbino. The main hallways have many sculptures, all great works of art (and most showing male packages).
We grabbed a late lunch and headed over to the Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. “David” is by far the main attraction at the Accademia, but there are also other sculptures and a few paintings. We used a Rick Steves iPhone app to get a guided tour around the statue. I’d seen pictures of “David,” but seeing him in person was incredible. Fourteen feet tall, carved from a single block of marble, no drawings or models to guide the artist (apparently, Michelangelo did all his work freehand). At one point, I turned to Lisa and said, “it’s amazing to see what we can do.” (Disclaimer: I’m only putting myself in Michelangelo’s group as a fellow member of the human species. I probably should have said it’s amazing to see what other people can do.)
After viewing “David” for a little under an hour (we were mesmerized), we went back to the hotel to rest our feet a bit before dinner. We had a delicious meal at Parione, another hotel recommendation. I’ve always been a 30-minute meal kind of guy; throw down some grub while watching TV. But our meals here have mostly been slow, relaxing affairs. Tonight, we had a nice bottle of wine, a small appetizer (prosciutto with melon and sangria), and very reasonable servings of our main courses. (I’ve noticed the portions are smaller here. Clearly going for quality over quantity.)
We walked back to the hotel and had another glass of wine on the rooftop terrace before going back to our room to pack for our train ride to Rome tomorrow morning. The plan is to do laundry in Rome one last time before coming home on Friday.