An Artful Agenda

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Italy, Day 11

(Spoiler Alert! You might want to start with Day 1 to follow this trip from the beginning...)

The next morning, Sonya was replaced by two extremely shy students from Korea. One dined with her jacket on and hood up so we couldn't see her messy hair. Though she and her friend knew English, she sat in total quiet each morning at the end of the table just listening to us talk with the Canadians. It was kinda like having breakfast with Kenny from Southpark.

During the previous night we were introduced to the mosquitoes of Florence as a few made it into our bedroom and dive bombed our heads all night. Diane confirmed that Florence was sort of "known for its mosquitoes…" Since I'm that girl that always gets eaten alive I was almost glad that we hadn't researched the place enough to know this ahead of time. Still the irony was not lost on us so, yeah, very funny universe.

I let Zan pick the route for our morning jog and he decided, despite the rough night's sleep, to take us along a road that traveled straight up for the first 2.5 miles of our run. (Very funny Zan.) At the top, however, we had a spectacular view of Florence for miles.

We stopped for a few pics then headed back down to shower and find lunch. We searched out a trattoria we had passed the night before and enjoyed a quiet, relaxing meal. Zan ordered the first spaghetti with pomodoro sauce of the trip and I couldn't help but feel like a tourist. I once again had the ravioli — and yes, I am using Italy as an excuse to eat ravioli the way a pregnant woman attacks pickles and ice cream.

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After lunch we walked across the river and visited the Uffizi gallery. Though we bought our tickets online a couple days in advance, we still had a wait once we arrived at the gallery to get our ticket vouchers then off to another line for another long wait to actually get in. I'm not sure why their intense queueing system didn't prepare me, but the crowds were over the top. 

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The upper floor, which housed the medieval collection, was overrun with guests so we made our way through the rooms at a steady pace. Photos were not allowed but Zan managed to snap a shot of the upper level before realizing this. (Don't tell Italy on us, okay?) Check out the gazillion portraits that line the top ledge running down the hallway. It was art overload to be sure.

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The next floor featured their collection of foreign painters including two of our most favorite Renaissannce rock stars, Caravaggio and my all time, I-am-woman-hear-me-roar-then-watch-me-and-my-BFF-cut-off-this-dude's-head painting by Artemisia Gentileschi of "Judith Slaying Holofernes."

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After we put in a few hours at the gallery, we decided to freshen up for an early dinner at an attractive spot we had passed a few times since arriving. We readied as slowly as we could bare but still ended up at Neromo just before 7:30pm, greeted by an empty bar and restaurant. The waiter was pleasant got a table ready for us while we took in the space which was even better-looking from the inside.

Once we settled, we ordered an artichoke appetizer which was served fresh with drizzles of olive oil and fresh cheese. For more food pics, check out the Florence food gallery. We followed the app with a wood oven fired pizza, one of the best to date, and a side of greens. For dessert we chose cheesecake and sorbet to accompany our espressos. Italy is about who can eat the most amazing food and, yes, we are winning.

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Dinner was followed by our customary walk through the city at night. Though the streets are bustling, it is still much easier to enjoy the art-filled the shops once they are closed and the tourists are mostly gone. The window displays in Florence are as inventive as they are mysterious. An elephant entering a car wash, I'll just leave you with that.