This was our “extra” day in the middle of the vacation. We had initially planned a wine tasting tour through Chianti and ending in the middle of nowhere midway between Florence and Naples, but the lady cancelled our reservation a couple days before our arrival and pretty much every place in Italy is a giant wine tasting so we asked if we could book a third night in the amazing apartment in Florence. She confirmed it was available, so we had a whole day in Florence that we didn’t plan for. Unscripted vacation? What is that?? I was not okay with this. Haha
We started our morning late. I finally got some sleep! I did manage to win the parent of the year award this morning though… Norah got into a “candy”on the table… A booze soaked chocolate covered cherry of Kegan’s… She definitely felt the effects of that one for a couple of hours…. Haha
We didn’t get started until almost 11am so we stopped for espresso and sandwiches
Funny face time. Still feeling the effects of her chocolate cherry cocktail
We basically have Italy to ourselves most places we go. Which is a good thing…because I don’t know if I could deal otherwise. Ha
Our big event of the day was Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens.
Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace) is now a museum owned by the city of Florence but has a pretty rich history. It gets its name because Lucca Pitti, a very wealthy Florentine banker, had it built in the 1500s. It is said he wanted it built bigger and better than the Medici palace of the time.
After the death of Cosimo the Elder, and a failed coup he staged to try to steal power , he fell on hard financial times. No one wanted to do business with a man like that…and his heirs were forced to sell the palace after his death…in a cruel twist of fate, to the wife of Cosimo I Medici who then added on to the palace to make it much more fit for his presence… Adding a majority of the current palace and some standard Medici flair.
An Italian grotto with sculpture, frescoes ceiling and fountain
We toured the Boboli Gardens first
The Amphitheater was modeled off of the Roman amphitheaters with an oblong shape and bench stadium seating. It is said that the first opera was performed here. When Fernidando di Medici married Christine of Lorraine, they had the idea to take a classic story and set it to music and sing the whole thing for the wedding guests, thus…opera.
There is also a very very old Egyptian obelisk of Ramses II that I’m sure no one who owned this place had any business being in possession of. Ha
As you can tell, these gardens are huge. We missed some pretty big things just because we didn’t cover all the grounds.
Oh, and remember that dwarf from yesterday’s painting? Some say this is him as well. However, I think it’s another dwarf-the face is different. Yep. It’s a naked dwarf riding a turtle. Art is weird.
Next we toured the Art Gallery which also extended into the Royal Apartments.
Quick history: built by Lucca Pitti, purchased by Elenor of Toledo- the wife of Cosimo I, then passed down through the Medici until they died out, then passed to the new Dukes of Tuscany- the Lorraines, then to the Savoy’s and briefly was the home of Elisa Bonaparte when Napoleon controlled the area. Lastly, it was the home of King Victor Emmanuel II when Florence was briefly the Capitol of a unified Italy. He then gifted it to the city of Florence- with all of its contents- making it the city’s largest museum and collection.
Everything is decorated basically as it was left in the early 1900s, giving it a very heavy French feel.
The rest of our day was fairly boring, we backtracked through the city again, seeing the same places again as we looked for a cell phone store. We bought an “unlimited” wifi device with our rental car that I thought was an amazing deal… Yeah well… It quit working 3 days in and we had no internet. Turns out, it had a limit. Haha they underestimated my use of internet!
Kegan found a meat and cheese shop downstairs and made us a dinner in the apartment complete with a nice bottle of wine.
Tomorrow is a lot of driving while we make up for the distance we lost by not doing wine in Chianti today and making it towards Naples and the Amalfi coast.
I see no mention of a certain hotel and a certain shrub. I know you walked past it twice on your way to/from the Duomo. Please dispenses with the suspense, I’m DYING to know!!!
You guys look like you’re having a ball 🙂