We started the day with a walk to the Accademia to view Michelangelo’s David (the real one; no pictures allowed)—very impressive, of course! There were also some interesting “unfinished” statues. We then visited the Opera Duomo and saw Donatello’s Mary Magdalene and the real gold doors of Ghiberti (which I saw once before while they were on tour at the High Museum in Atlanta). We ended our morning walk with an introduction to a couple of the city’s markets (including the markets of San Lorenzo, which reminded me of all the corner street vendors and the Porta Portese market in Rome, although there is much more emphasis on leather goods here).
I grabbed some quick pizza, then headed to the Uffizi Gallery. Unfortunately, no pictures are allowed, but highlights included Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera, Da Vinci’s Annunciation, Titian’s Venus of Urbino, Artemesia’s Judith Slaying Holofernes (I saw the other very similar version of this in Naples last summer), and Caravaggio’s Medusa. I also found a good book on the Vatican’s Map Gallery in an impressive museum library/bookstore.
For an afternoon snack, I grabbed an impressive panini with pork, eggplant, and mustard at a little place called Il Cernacchino near Piazza della Signoria, then got some cinnamon hot chocolate at a gelataria. After further exploring the San Lorenzo markets and some other shops, I made my way back to the hotel for a break before embarking on a climb up to the cupola of Brunelleschi’s Duomo.
For dinner I joined the Lagors’ group at Yellow Bar (it’s their last night with us before heading off to ski in Cortona and visit Venice). I had an excellent bruschetta, spaghetti alla carbonara, margherita pizza, plenty of wine, and some limoncello. Good stuff!