Not much else of Florence was seen yesterday. After sending a couple of e-mails, I headed to the Duomo to go inside and possibly go to mass (It was Sunday after all). I sent the Aussie boys an e-mail telling them to meet me at the Duomo at 5 if they got the message in time. We were having a really hard time getting ahold of eachother on the phone.
I left and did a decent amount of walking. I walked up to the Piazza San Marco and sat and had a drink and watched the pigeons and people chase eachother around. I walked down past the Galleria dell'Accademia where the statue of David resides, down past the Basilica di San Lorenzo, the Central Market and the Piazza della Repubblica (where I found some nice restaurants I would like to return to). I headed accross the old bridge (Ponte Vecchio) and to the Piazza Pitti in front of the Palazzo Pitti where I sat and read some of my new Tuscany and Florence guide book. Then I walked back up the river through the Galleria degli Uffizi (well not actually through it, but through the courtyard) and then through the PIazza della Signoria (where the fake David statue is) and then ended up at the Piazza del Duomo and the Duomo itself.
The inside of the duomo was awesome. There was a lot of artwork on the walls which I was really impressed by. Quite a few murals, some stuff painted directly on the walls and then just some nice, normal sized paintings. Mostly of bishops and knights and important people. There were also tombs of a couple of bishops and the rotunda was of course, beautiful. After I was done touring the inside, I went and sat on the steps outside to wait for the boys and I read some more of my guide book. Right at 5, I saw them walking accross the square and then walk right past me and off towards the train station. I jumped up and ran over to them and found out, to my surprise, that they never got my email and just happened to be walking past the duomo right when I was looking for them. I mean, literally, the bell tower was going off that it was 5 as we were talking about how crazy lucky it was that they walked by.
We went back to their hotel and then to dinner at this really great restaurant that Greg's uncle had suggested. I had the most amazing ravioli with artichokes and spinach inside and with fried artichokes on top of it. It was so incredible. After this, we headed to get some gelato and then to this club which had a great shot deal for the night. We get to the bar, which is really close to the University, and almost all of the people in the place were either American or Australian. They were playing the NFC championship on the TV, €1 shots (like, REAL shots) and it was perfect. We stayed there all night, had a great time, met quite a few people and headed back to the hotels at about 3.
This morning I got up to go meet Andre (the Brazillian from Paris) at the train station. He was coming in from Venice and only was spending the day in Florence. Problem number one was that the only thing he really wanted to see was the statue of David and, of course, the museum was closed (all museums here are closed on Mondays). So, we decided to go to Pisa and the Aussies headed to Siena. The trip was short and we didn't spend very much time in Pisa. We were initially hoping that we could get there and then go to Siena afterwards to meet the rest of the crew, but that didn't work out.
The tower was amazing. I mean, it was really cool. It looks so fake. It literally looks like it was built that way. The entire foundation is sinking into the ground. Andre got some good touristy pictures of us pretending to hold it up and what not, and he said he'll post them on facebook, so look for those. After we got back to Florence, I took him to the fake David in the Piazza della Signoria and we got a slice of pizza as an early dinner snack. Gid and Shaun were both tired after travelling and walking around Siena all day so Greg, Andre and I went to dinner at a really shady place near Piazza Republica. The guy said he would give us 10% off because we were Australian (good job Greg) and so we said ok, but the food was just so/so and they ended up trying to scam us by adding €1 to each of our dishes on the bill. Whatever.
Andre leaves soon for Rome and the other boys leave tomorrow (probably) for Vienna so I'll be back to being all alone in Florence, but I think I'll be able to figure out something to do. I have a flight booked to Prague so I will more than likely keep that reservation for next week. I'll keep ya posted :)