Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jean's Adventurous Day in Florence

Today was good and terrible.  We had tickets for the Uffizi Gallery at 10:00, saw beautiful art and then I got lost.  I mean, really lost.  Lost, like a little kid at the mall, lost.  But now I am found, and life is good.

We started at the market.  This is like the farmers market on steroids  and all of these vendors come every day until noon.  Then they pack up all their stuff and move to their own neighborhood markets.  It is a great way to shop, probably not such a good way to do business, and almost impossible to describe to an American.  Here are some pictures to help you see what I cannot describe.  The market is in a big building with no heat....so like 40 degrees in the morning.

one of the vegetable guys, there are many.  He was singing so I took 
a picture of his veggies.

Artichokes are in season - 5 for $1

Cheese and beans and rice

As I said this is the meat capital of Italy, so there are 15 at least
Meat markets like this.

This is our dried fruit guy.  Enlarge to see all the kinds.

dried porchini, morel, and portabelo mushrooms

Ladies at the meat counter gossiping

more mushrooms

meat = like tongue, lungs, stomach, kidneys  Ick

Isn't he cute?

Our cheese guy.  I bought Parmegano Reggionio yesterday

Big blocks of Parm

Capichino and a Chocolate at Porks.  She spoke NO English and I ordered!
I am very proud of myself.

Typical sandwiches that are everywhere

typical menu in the market

Rabbits and ducks.  Look closely at the duck

Prochuitto hams


Offal - which for you city people are innards.  Ick!

We only got breakfast and coffee/chocolate. Saw a really cute police man and had my picture taken with him.

Gotta love a country that has this cute of police that carry guns AND purses!

 Then off to the Uffizi.  The Italians are very..... procedural.  So even if we had ordered tickets online and paid for them, we had to go to one place, then another, each waiting in line.  I don't know what Rick Steves is talking about when he shows going right in.  Granted, our wait was shorter, but we waited.

The Uffizi gallery has the greatest overall collection anywhere of Italian Renaissance paintings and sculpures.  And trust me....we saw them all.  Including Botticelli, Venus, Raphael, Giotto, Titian, Leonardo and Michelangelo.   It traces Renaissance art from the beginning well into the 16th century, as well as having one of the great sculpture galleries in Italy.  So.....Unfortunately, or fortunately if you are getting sick of our pictures  there are not photos allowed, so I only have one of Ponte Vecchio bridge taken from the top of the gallery.

Bridge that has shops on both sides, the ultimate shopping bridge!

At the end of our time at the Gallery,my knees and hips were killing me, so I decided to take the handicapped elevator to the first floor.  Jerry, always the rule follower, said, "We're not handicapped, I'm not riding on that Elevator".  I said, OK, or words to that effect.  "I will meet you downstairs".  Little did we know that this elevator went nowhere but up, and by the time I realized this Jerry was long gone.  Add to the fact that the Uffizi is under renovation, and there is no exit near where Jerry thought the elevator was coming out.  Long story short, this was at 12:10. Being a good girl scout I remembered my training:  STAY IN ONE PLACE. So I waited by the entrance for him to find me.  

I waited until 2:30, after going back through the museum twice by sweet talking the guards, then decided that I could probably find my way back to the apartment eventually.  Those of you who know my lack of directions, map sense, and spacial awareness, will understand that this was a real crap shoot.  But I went, in the rain, to where I thought maybe, possibly, perhaps, the apartment was.  At 3:10 I arrived after taking many wrong turns, in the rain, without a map.  Why didn't I call him you ask?  We didn't get cell phone Sim cards when we got here.   I opened the door (fortunately I had a key) and no Jerry.  But.....there was a note that he had been here since 1:00 and would check back every 30 min.  So the lost was found, He came back.  Everything was fine.  

Lesson:  Always make contingency plans on where to meet, Don't get irritated and think you should split up, always carry a map,  always have enough $$ for a cab and Don't leave Jean alone in a gallery. EVER!

We ate tonight at Palle d'Oro.  Very Italian, very cute. 
No English here

Isn't he cute?

Look at that steak!!! Best meat I have had since summer.

We both had steaks.  I had spinach on the side.  Yum!

Our waitress, Sarah.  "I speak a little English"  Little was the word for it.

The front of the restaurant.  You would never know there was 
anyone in here.

Our dinner was fabulous---Molto Bene!  The steak you could cut with a fork.  Appetizers, steaks, sides, coffee and a bottle of wine $68.  A real bargain!

We are off to bed to sleep and dream of getting lost.  Ciao!


  1. Glad you are found. And great advise on how NOT to repeat it. I will take those words to heart, since both of us Leos have the same amount of sense of direction.

    1. Yes, you and I are so much alike. We expect the world to tell us where we are and how to get to another place. It was scary! But all good now. Jerry's comment was, "I figured you had a Master's degree you could find your way home." What does that have to do with it?

  2. I jsut sat for the last 30 minutes and got all caught up on your travels. Jean, I love your writing. I feel like I am walking the narrow little streets with you. Such adventures the two of you are having. I love reading it all. Reading about Florence makes me want to go back there and spend more time. Your apartment is adorable. Phil's and my rule for the subway if we got one and one was left behind was to get off at the next exit and wait. Keep that in mind. Nothing to exciting happening in Iowa. Snow, snow, snow. The kids are great and it is the end of the quarter for me this week. Yea! Thanks for blogging and calling. It is so much fun to hear from you! Love you both and be safe for God's Sake!

    1. and we have the perfect apartment for you to stay in. The history here is amazing!