Today was the day - the Uffizi and Accademia day, that is!
We got up bright and early, had a piece of fruit and espresso (Dave and I, the girls had juice) and headed off to the Uffizi for opening time of 8:15. We got into what we thought was the reservation line, but I had a feeling it was not where we should be so went up to check with the security man. As turns out, we were in the tour group gathering line, but in any case the museum was closed for some reason until 10:15...museum hours in Florence...who can sort those out?!?! But I did get one gem of a tidbit from the guard - we didn't have to wait in line at all "just go to door no. 2, no line" he told me. Woohoo, imagine our thrill at bypassing even the line for reservation holders!! That alone made our Friends of Uffizi membership passes worth the price and more.
We strolled around to the Loggia della Signoria and sat there for a while, admiring the striking statues. I had loved Giambologna's Ratto della Sabine on my first visit to Florence and was just as taken with it this time. The figures seem ready to burst into motion at any second. It was so lovely just sitting in the Loggia, soaking up the atmosphere without huge crowds. In fact, aside from an older gentleman reading his paper, we were the only ones sitting there. A few other tourists wandered through, but nobody else sat down. Then back to the apt for breakfast before returning to the Uffizi.
I bought myself an official museum guide and off we went. I will have to return to see the Giotto and 13c room again another day. I made a comment about the development between the Giotto and the Cimabue, Dave snorted - he thinks very little of the art from that period - I took it personally, got mad and told him to go into the next room and get away from me. (I am far from an art expert so to have someone snort at my attempts to express myself about a piece of art made me feel like an idiot...I had a little meltdown and couldn't enjoy myself! so must return another day!)
MN "collected" Venuses - several statues in the corridors, the Birth of Venus (her fave painting), etc, and noted them all down in her journal.
TG enjoyed the statues in the galleries as well (as did Dave and I), and also Michelangelo's Doni Tondo among other pieces.
Hard to say what was my fave...perhaps Raphael's Pope Leo X. I love Raphael's work. Of course I loved many other pieces too, including Caravaggio's The Adolescent Bacchus. Dave was very taken with a small Botticelli work (darn, I forget the name).
We returned to the apt for a lunch of goofiness and sliced meat & cheese sandwiches. After lunch we waffled on what to do next and finally decided to go to the Accademia. We were dying to see it, I just wasn't sure if the girls would be up for it the same day as the Uffizi - am trying to ensure they don't get museum-ed out! But since TG, Dave and I really wanted to go, MN said it was ok with her. Hooray, we got to jump the queue (and boy, what a mob scene it was!!) and go right in...this pass is gold, pure gold, I tell ya!!
Oh...sigh...be still my beating heart...the David evoked just as much emotion the second time as had the first. Stunning, breathtaking...again, words cannot describe the experience of the David in person. TG was overcome with emotion and had to fight off the tears. We could have lingered longer but MN was getting bored (apparently the David didn't have such an impact on an 11 year old). As with the Uffizi, one must exit through the gift shop and be sucked into buying a momento (in spite of best intentions!) Actually MN bought a little book about the Birth of Venus, and TG bought 2 reproductions of a sketch of the David, one for herself and one for a friend.
Back at the apartment, we went to our usual take out spot (La Spada) and had chicken stuffed with mushrooms, asparagus, green beans, zuchini& tomatoes and a bottle of red wine for 16 euro - we LOVE this restaurant!! Why cook when the four of us can have a great supper for less than 20 euro?!
After supper we had - yup, you guessed it - gelato! MN had AFter 8-Creme Caramel-Cookie. TG had strachiatella (sp?). I had hazelnut-yogurt nutella. All yummy. Then on to our fave internet train site.
Weather was perfect today - sun with cloudy periods and warm but not HOT.
Tomorrow we plan to go to Siena on the bus.