Day 25 - Tuesday 22 September 2015
I woke up early and spent a while catching up on my blog. Jazz slept really late, she seemed like she needed it so I didn't disturb her until it got late enough that I felt like we should really get up and face the day.
We needed to go and pick up Jazz's bag which she had left behind in the van so that was our first item for the day. We decided it would be easier to just walk there so on the way we stopped and bought some coffees and pastries and sat on the bridge one before the Ponte Vecchio to enjoy the view and eat our breakfast.
When we were ready, we set off walking to the tour companies office which was about 25 minutes away. When we got there we pressed the buzzer and the door clicked open but no one said anything into the speaker. We went in anyway but there was no one there. We opened a door but it just had cleaning products. We were a bit confused but noticed some stairs just around the corner.
We slowly walked up them feeling a bit cautious and this weird somewhat creepy music was playing. I know a few strange thoughts we're going through my head about what was going on so I called out to see if anyone was there. A man appeared and looked very confused to see us (which is weird because he let us into the building). I explained that we were just there for the bag and he said, "oh yes!" And took us to his van to retrieve it. We were both happy to get out of the building and away from the creepy music.
As we were walking back to the main area we walked past this really nice looking restaurant called La Bottega. We had a quick look at the menu and went inside to make a booking for that evening at 8.30pm.
We walked the 25 minutes back to the city centre and by that time I really needed to pee so we stopped in at a bar to grab a quick drink and use the facilities.
We wanted to go to the Accademia Gallery but when we got there the line was massive. It was the middle of the day so the sun was blaring and we didn't really want to line up for hours in the sun.
We went to the tourist office instead and bought tickets to go back at 6.30pm and also got tickets to go to the Uffizi Gallery at 8.45am the next day.
Now that we had free time we decided we would do some shopping instead. We had only bought a few small things so far on our trip because the idea of carting it from city to city was a real turn off. Seeing as Florence was the last stop, now was our chance to make a few purchases.
We wandered past a cute looking restaurant so we stopped for food first and ordered some pizza, pasta & bruschetta to share and got the waiter to recommend some red wine for us. The food was nice but the wine but it was a bit gross.
We weren't really sure where the good shopping was so wandered around a few shops and markets for a little while. We bought a few tiny things (wallet for Jazz, watch for Cara and a new selfie stick as we have now had 3 break on us!) but nothing major.
We tried to go into the Duomo but they wouldn't let me in because I was wearing a dress and had bare legs and shoulders. We got harassed by the guy selling scarves trying to make me buy one so I could go in but we decided to just go back later when I was dressed appropriately.
When it was time we went to the Accademia. We still had to line up but it wasn't for too long and I got talking to this American couple who had a daughter a bit older than us that studied in Perth.
Security getting into the gallery was like in an airport. We got through and walked through and found the statue of David. It was pretty amazing, we stared at it for a long time taking in all of the detail. We wandered around some of the other rooms briefly but the religious themes in most of the other art was a bit overwhelming so headed off.
The sun was going down now but we were still a bit early for our dinner reservation so went to a rooftop bar that our host Christiano had told us about at the Grand Hotel Baglioni. You had to go into the hotel lobby and then take the lift to the top. It was still early so there weren't many people there yet and we got a nice table to enjoy the view. We had a cocktail each and then got a cab to La Bottega for dinner.
The restaurant was a bit more fancy that we had realised and we felt a bit underdressed as we hadn't gotten changed and were just wearing what we had on all day.
We decided to go all out and get the 6 course degustation menu with matching wines.
It didn't start off very well though because Jazz didn't like the first 3 courses. Luckily the second half was much nicer and they even slipped in a few surprise courses and appetisers for us . From the whole menu I liked everything except for one of the courses.
We were both incredibly full by the end of the meal. The waiter asked if we wanted any after dinner drinks to finish with and suggested we try grappa. We hadn't tried any yet in Italy so said "what the hell, why not?"
These Americans a few tables up overheard us saying we'd never had it and called out that it tastes like lighter fluid. The waiter suggested we have some flavoured grappa so we got Peach and Pear.
We had a sip and it was crazy strong. I think that lighter fluid thing wasn't far off... The waiter said that because it was so strong you have to drink it a certain way where you breath out all of the air in your mouth and then take a sip without letting any air in, swallow and only then breath in. It actually worked and did make it more manageable. Jazz still didn't like it and didn't finish hers.
It was starting to rain and the staff at the restaurant said there was a problem with the cabs so they couldn't call one for us. It was a 25 minute walk home so they gave us a free umbrella!
We started walking and it stopped raining but we were just happy we scored a free umbrella. We walked home quite slowly so it was pretty late by the time we made it to bed.