Grand Finale - Tales From Italy: April 29th, 2005

Grand Finale: Accademia, Uffizi, Dinner & Dancing
Well, we just had to make our last day an action packed day.

We started with a tour of the Accademia Gallery (gallery of sculptures) where you can see the original sculpture of David. Another awe inspiring moment. Nevertheless, it is the about the only thing impressive in the home gallery. After the Accademia Tour, we stopped at a cafe for lunch. We watched people devour a calzone the size of a small country, while we had a salad and fruit
bowl. We thought we might end up with scurvy, so we decided we had to add some green leafy veggies and a fruit or two to our carb loading, wine drinking diet.

We (or rather I) resumed the force march through the streets of Florence, looking for the elusive trinket to take home. We saw some great stores but everything was very expensive due to our exchange rate. We make a snack stop to have some gelato again. We sat on the steps of some church near the Uffizi Gallery (I can't remember the name), watched the sea of humanity pass by, admired the backside of a copy of the statue of David and wondered about the statue of some god with the head of Medusa in his hand. You could sit and watch people for hours. Unfortunately, we had another tour of the Uffizi Gallery (gallery of paintings).
Our tour guide turned out to have a Napoleon complex and went on and on about paintings no one had any interest in. We all wanted to see the Leonardo de Vinici's, (he really didn't paint that many- most famous being the Mona Lisa and that is in the Louvre), the Bottacelli's (Birth of Venus) and the Michelango's. He wasted so much time on some obscure stuff that mom and I
sat and waited till we could move on. I learned so much about why people study the paintings so much and so long. There are often illusions, hidden signatures (self portraits), and other symbolism, that you have to sit and stare and think about the paintings for a long time to get a sense or understanding of what these geniuses where trying to portray.

After the tour, I marched mom back through the city to our next final excursion - Florence by Night with Dinner & Dancing. What a hoot! We made it back to the train station (probably a mile walk from the Uffizi) and boarded a bus to the highest point in Florence - The Piazza de Michelangelo - where you can see another copy (in bronze) of the statue of David. We sat at a café and watched the sunset over Florence while drinking a glass of champagne. You could see the whole city. It was beautiful.

We then got back on the bus to go to dinner at a "local" restaurant. It was a huge tourist/tour bus trap across from a beautiful Monastery; however, we had a wonderful time. There were about 4 tour buses (ours was a mixed group, 2 buses of people from Peru, and 1 bus of young Americans). We ate, drank numerous bottles of Chianti, sang and danced. It was a great way to end the trip.

Now we have to go and pack for our return. How in the world I'm going to go back to work and not be able to have a bottle of wine with lunch. Alas.

With that, we end our trip to Italy. We hope you enjoyed the adventure with us.