We bought our tickets, and in we went; but not before I snapped a couple of quick pictures of the inside of the church:
Those stairs don't look too bad:
We had planned on lunch in the market area, it's just a few blocks away from the Dome. It was a little bit early for lunch, so we strolled through a street market, looking at some more Italian leather "pocketbooks". And I found just the perfect red one! David has been very patient with me during my hunt for the perfect red purse!
After that climb and the shopping, it was definitely time for lunch! I'd read about a small restaurant near the market that sounded great--Trattoria Mario. We searched down a couple of small side streets and found it. We were lucky to get one of the last tables--this is a very busy place! We did our best to interpret the Italian menu (this is not a tourist type place!) We ordered a first course of ravioli to share--it was incredibly delicious. Then we each ordered a main plate--Beef stewed in wine, and a Florentine steak with rosemary. Oh, my goodness! The best meal in Italy so far--seriously good food! The small steak was cooked perfectly (very pink) and drizzled with rosemary olive oil. The stewed beef was cooked in red wine--and it was melt in your mouth good. Here are the pictures:
We had tickets for The Academia museum at 2 pm, and it was still a bit early. We walked over that way, taking the long route to explore a bit. Believe it or not, we had a gelatto! I'm not sure how we found room in our tummies, but we did. Flavor of the day: dark chocolate and almond.
There was only a small line to get in to the Academia-mostly a wait for the airport-like security. All bags must be scanned, and we had to walk thru a metal detector.
The Academia is full of wonderful treasures--mostly 14th-17th century paintings. We looked at several of them, they are beautiful, but we are just not renaissance art lovers, I guess. Pretty soon we start to suffer from "museum brain"--and they all look alike!
But--the real treasure at The Academia is Michelangelo's David. Oh, my--it is stunning! Of course, no pictures allowed. But.... I was a very bad girl, and snapped one anyway! (I only feel a little guilty)
We decided that today would be an early evening--so we started strolling back in the direction of our apartment. We wanted to take yet a different bridge. Well-----that was our good luck!
As we crossed the bridge and turned down a small side street, we noticed a directional sign to "Piazza Michelangelo" Hmmm--we probably should check that out, we said. Can't be too far.
We walked a few blocks, and came to the ancient wall of the city of Florence:
(by the way, cars, motorscooters and bikes whiz thru this arch--both ways! It's quite narrow, I wonder how many wrecks there are?)
We walked through the arch in the wall, and started up a pretty steep hill. It's a lovely little neighborhood, hmmmm--can't be much further.........
Finally, we came to some steep stairs. It must be right at the top of these stairs, right?
By now, I'm huffing and puffing, and my legs are screaming. I wonder just how many steps I've climbed today? But no giving up.....
Finally we reach the top--and it's worth every step. What a beautiful panoramic view over all of Florence! In the distance you can see the dome we climbed today:
Well, we are now officially v-e-r-y tired! So back down those steps, through the ancient wall and along the narrow winding streets to our apartment. We had a much earned pre-dinner drink in "our" garden, then had leftovers for dinner--but it was that yummy gnocchi from last night, so pretty great leftovers!
Another fabulous day in Florence!
Tomorrow: An early morning train to Lucca--a small medieval walled town about 1 1/2 hours from Florence. And hopefully, not too many steps!