Palm Sunday, March 31, 1996 Florence, Italy
Barbara knocked on the door at 8:45 am and said we only had 15 minutes to get our free breakfast and I was still fast asleep. But we all made it in time. Only rolls and coffee. Had some conversation on attitude and we adjusted how we looked at each other. Barbara is no longer Jim’s little sister, but my best friend. Then back to our rooms to get cleaned up and dressed for the day.
As it is Sunday we all dressed a little better than usual. We started walking to the Accademia Museum to see the statute of David by Michelangelo . On the way we passed the cathedral. The doors to the Baptistery Building were open. Barbara asked if we could go in and they said yes. It was the blessing of the palms by the Archbishop. The people all carried olive branches instead of palms. Only the priest had palms. We joined in with the procession and made an instant decision to attend the 10:30 am mass. We were able to sit up front since we were in the procession.
The music was beautiful and as Barbara said, we probably didn’t get rooms in Venice for this weekend because we were destined to attend mass in the Cathedral on Palm Sunday in Florence. To quote Barbara, the experience was better than a museum. After mass we walked on to the Accademia Museum. Jim decided to go on his own for three hours and Barbara and I went in to inspect the marble statute of David by Michelangelo. A magnificent sight to behold! There were many other statues and painting in this museum in addition to David...but he is definitely the reason most people come to this particular museum. Afterwards, we walked the streets until we happened on a very large flea market. We were looking for various items but ended up purchasing a new bag for Jim to carry his video camera. The strap broke on the one he has been using from home. Barbara managed to get the price down from 50,000 lire to only 28,000 lire by the time she finished negotiating. She gave me lessons on how to get the best price. Then we continued to walk and entered an art shop where Barbara purchased three still life prints to take home. We also saw a print of the painting of early Florence similar to one Jim had commented on at the Rose Hotel the night before. We had the clerk mark the map and she gave us a card.
Back to the hotel, we entered at the same time as Jim. He’d had a marvelous time and had found an excellent museum to tour. We put things into our room…the camera bag was perfect. Off the three of us went to find lunch…pizzeria time. Then back into the straw market after Jim and Barbara purchased beautiful sweaters in the shop that we could see from the outside eating area of the Pizzeria. We decided to find the art shop, took a while but we managed. Jim finally decided to buy the print of Florence (a larger one than we had originally looked at) after I said that would be my sweater, and Barbara said we might regret it if we decided not to return to Florence after Venice. The clerk also gave us a print of Lucca for Jim’s friend who was born in Lucca.
Went into a department store to purchase socks for Jim and then back to the bridge to take pictures. Along the way, Barbara found a shop for the cigar case she was looking for. I went by myself to take photos from the other end of the bridge and found an open market where I purchased marble eggs for the grandsons. I managed to negotiate with the dealers myself for a better price than they were offering! I went back and met Jim and Barbara for a glass of wine at the bar area on the second floor of our hotel. Afterwards, Jim and I went up to the roof and took pictures of the city. We later took Barbara up before leaving for dinner after a rest time. During this time Jim roamed the city again looking for different things. He found a great sculpture shop and a leather shop. We found the sculpture shop again after dinner but not the leather shop.
We ate dinner in a very nice restaurant that Jim found on his walk located just behind our hotel called Ristorante Toto. Enjoyed roasted chicken and I drank too much of the bottle of wine. After dinner we went for a long walk, interrupted by a return to the hotel for the WC. I had a severe reaction to the wine which caused me to walk in front of a Vespa and an automobile, plus ring at least three of the bells on each of the doors that we found on the different alleys. A very fun walk that ended in comparing the copy of David in the square to the original we’d seen this morning. We finally agreed that Jim’s book was right and it was an exact copy of the original! Back to the hotel by 11 PM and to bed after finishing the journal for the day!
Tomorrow we’re off to Venice. We’ve asked for information on a Laundromat…if we find one we’ll do laundry before going to Venice. Barbara called home this afternoon to find out how things were going. She told her grandson that she was bringing a present home for him but not what it is….that should keep his mother busy! John was in Palm Springs this weekend instead of last due to the painting (Barbara has a remodel job going on in their house while she is traveling.) But the paint smell is just as bad as before he told her. She told him about the bracelet that she purchased! We discovered that the bathroom window provides another magnificent view of the street below that is different from the other view. I stood over the bidet for twenty minutes of people watching in the street below. What did travelers do before we had the telephone?