After spending two days in Venice, we planned to take the train to Rome and stop in Florence for the afternoon. I bought the train tickets online in advance so they were dirt cheap. Also, I purchased advanced tickets to see the statue of David at the Accademia Gallery. I didn’t buy tickets to any other galleries because I thought we could walk around the city for a bit and then stumble upon some things to do. Plus, we’re not big museum fans.
Anyway, we arrive in Florence without a hitch and walk over to the Accademia Gallery for our entry time at 9:00 a.m. Walking into the gallery it seemed small and well thought out but nothing prepared me for rounding that corner and seeing David for the first time in person. Whoa! He is massive and stunning! The hubs and I spent about an hour just staring at him. We talked about his hands, his feet, his veins, his hair, his butt, his arms, I mean, we really had a good, long look at David. By far, this was one of the best stops on our tour of Italy.
After leaving the gallery, we walked around and found ourselves back in front of the Duomo. Now, some of us had already seen this cathedral in the virtual tour of Italy. And it is one of the reasons what prompted us to visit this impressive piece of architecture. So, on our way to the gallery, we walked past the Duomo trying to take in as much of its beauty as possible. We walked around the Duomo a few times looking in wonderment at the color, the detail, and the presence of this magnificent cathedral. We contemplated going to the top but I didn’t think we had enough time.
We walked around a little more, stopped for coffee, and used the wifi to see what other things we could do in Florence. It turns out that both of us were extremely exhausted and more interested in sitting than exploring. Once we determined that the wifi at the coffee shop didn’t work, we remembered there was a McDonald’s across the street from the train station that had wifi. So, we ended up at McDonald’s in Florence and since we were already there… we decided to eat. Yes, I know. Who goes to Florence, Italy to eat at McDonald’s? Normally, I would laugh at anyone who did such a thing, but I wanted to sit and use wifi and I was starving.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, I booked our train tickets in advance and thought our 5-hour stopover in Florence would be jam-packed with things to do. As it turns out, we spent a good 3 hours sitting in McDonald’s trying not to fall asleep. Now, that has nothing to do with Florence and everything to do with jet lag and exhaustion.
Not long after eating, the smell of food, or the guilt of eating McDonald’s, got to me so we went back to retrieve our luggage and wait for our train. As we approached the doors to the station, I all but lost my mind. I was so tired and overwhelmed by planning my first two-week vacation that I just started bawling. Yes, right there in front of the main entrance to the Firenze Santa Maria Novella Station. All my husband could do was hold me and tell me that soon the train would come and I could sleep on the way to Rome. I guess that was all I needed to hear. Finally, we hopped on the train and took a ride through the Tuscan countryside and all I kept thinking was “why don’t we have a villa in Tuscany?”
So, we didn’t make it to any other famous museums, we didn’t eat any fancy food, we ate McDonald’s, and we don’t own a villa in Tuscany. And that, my friends, is how I failed in Florence.