A Trip Report By Mel & Karen Ray
Lodging - Relais Uffizi, right on the main square. In Renaissance times, where citizens pioneered the radical notion of self-rule! Getting to our room was a challenge: 4 bags, 50 lbs. each plus backpacks and no direct elevator to our floor. Traverse two flights of stairs, 17 steps each! Mel not happy, wants a USA chain hotel.
Off immediately to tour, and soon became aware of the World Bicyclists Championship is underway with Florence being a major point in the races (each day for a week)
The event has many tourists in town. So, we decided to stay close and visit some of the interest points on our square (plaza)
First the Palazzo Vecchio, a fortified palace once the home of Florence's ruling Medici family, then served as Town Hall and where David (statue) stood until 1873. Today is the office of the City Mayor. Next, walked to the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, formerly where butcher shops stood end-to-end (scraps tossed into the River Arno) then along came the Medicis and replaced the butchers with jewelry shops. This is the only bridge in Florence to survive destruction in WWII.
Restaurants open for dinner at 7 PM, we walked around shopping for a nice place, found a sidewalk "Spaghettiria" MMmmmm ... then soon after seating met a cool Chinese couple at the next table (close) ... on their honeymoon ... she was a China-Air flight attendant (spoke good English) ... don't know much about him (no speak English, but he did understand) ... they are from a rural area ~1 1/2 hours from Hong Kong ... what a delight to chat with them ... we all laughed a lot.
The wine & carbs plus travel got to us and we turned-in following dinner.