We arrived in Florence for about 13:30 and made our way straight to the Duomo to just sit and people watch for a bit. I got up to walk around the piazza and witnessed a small child get run over by a guy on a push bike. Luckily the child was ok, though he only had himself to blame for running out in front of the bike and the guy was very apologetic which was good to see. The main thing here is that I didn't laugh. I think I'll be a good dad!
We walked to Piazza della Repubblica and sat down for lunch outside in a pricey looking restaurant that looked out across the square. Before going in we thought the food prices looked reasonable so thought "why not"? I ordered a Pizza (€8) & coke and Catherine had a Lasagne (€12) & coke. Both very nice and did the job. We got the bill soon after & it came to €40. Wait, what? How's that possible? There was a €6 cover charge but that would make it €26 surely. Oh, of course we're forgetting the drinks! I then looked at the receipt again to see that the cokes were €7 EACH!!! No wonder they only put the f***ing food prices on display! I felt like a child that had just been knocked down by a bike, this was ludicrous! We paid our bill cos we had to really, that's how it works and the waiter came over for a quick chat. He told us that the nice weather they're currently experiencing in Italy is the start of their spring and that tomorrow is going to be another lovely day. We said we didn't really understand what he was talking about as we're English and the sun plays very little part of our day to day life. He seemed nice enough though and we left him a tip and I know what your thinking, the tip should be to tell him to lower the price of your coke or perhaps put drink prices on display but no, we left €1 because of the above reasons!
Upon leaving there we walked across the Ponte Vecchio bridge into the Oltrarno area of Florence and towards Palazzo Pitti, a former Palace that from 1550 became the residence of all former Florentine rulers. We only had an hour to get round it before it closed so we decided to focus on the Boboli Gardens as it was a nice day. After a Lost in Translation moment involving the words toilet and cloakroom we made our way out to the gardens and they were very impressive. We also had a great view of the city, a view I tried and succeeded on improving as I climbed to the highest point, leaving my poor wife, at her request, sat down to rest. I got a great view that looked out towards the Duomo and over the city. I finally managed to get most of the Duomo into a picture. At this point I thought I was being followed, I probably wasn't but everywhere I went this guy went and every path I took, he took one near it or the same one. I shook him off though and headed back to Catherine who had spent the last 20 minutes listening to a bird tweeting at her & soaking up the sun. We made our way to the exit and stumbled upon a statue of Catherine's hero, Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine. Why he's naked and straddling a turtle is anyone's guess but if you went for because he's pissed as the reason then that would seem a sound choice.
We headed back towards Ponte Vecchio and grabbed our first cup of strawberry Gelato. Again, it was delicious as was everything else we've eaten or drank so far. We found some steps in Piazza della Signoria to sit and eat our gelato and do some more people watching.
The bells of the Duomo were ringing as we headed to the train station and we quickly boarded our train back Pisa from Florence for the last time on this trip. The sun set once again over the countryside and we arrived back in Pisa as the night fell.