Our second day in Rome started bright and early. We were up, showered and out the door by 7am! We went to the train station which was a gong show. Some lady helped us find what platform our train would be at, then wanted money. Uh nope don’t got any. Then some guy came validated our tickets and showed us the train which was at a different platform. Chris was sure it wasn’t the right train but the man insisted that it was and guess what? That we should give him money. There was a couple minutes of back and forth till I said we only have credit cards. He left and the people who were actually in our seats showed up. With their help we sorted out that we were a train early, so we got off and waited. We got on that next train with no problems until we arrived in Florence, there I realized the train that we were booked went to a different station than I expected. So we bought a map and started walking to the nearest info center. Of course that info center was ran by a man that spoke zero English. He made hand gestures and pointed on a map where an English info center was. Its odd everyone talks to Chris but really I am the one who understands the most Italian it seems. I then explained the directions to Chris and we started walking. The new info center was great. They spoke English, they sold us the Firenze pass we needed and we were off to see Florence.
Our first stop was the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. We got in quite quickly since the Firenze Pass got us into the reserved line. We also looked at some of the other art in the museum but the David was the highlight by far.
Next we went to Basilica Sainta Maria del Fiore in Piazza del Duomo. The first thing we saw was the Baptisterium which was basically a small church. Then we went and stood in line for the bell tower but the line was long, didn’t move much, and was in the sun. So we left to go see the Basilica and dome. That line up had an express line so we didn’t have to wait long. As soon as we got inside we realized we were in the wrong line. The line imediatly went into the wall and led up a spiral staircase. Up we climbed stopping once on a landing before climbing even more stairs. We then got to a catwalk. The catwalk went around the edge of the dome and looked over the church 200 feet below. We made our way around the edge and entered another stairway. This one went up and then started going around the dome. There were uneven stairways connected by narrow corridors spiraling at an angle towards the center. In these stairways you could feel how you were between two layers. The dome roof above you and the dome itself below.
Once down on the ground we went into the Basilica and saw Giorgio Vasaris fresco Last Judgement. We then went to find food. We stopped at a little restaurant off the main road. There was no host so we knew it wasn’t to touristy. Chris ordered the spaghetti carbonara and I had the ravioli. It was far better than the meal we had in Rome. After lunch we walked the streets seeing the must sees along the way: Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Muse di Zoologia, and Piazza della Repubblica. We then made our way back to the train station. We arrived early and had dinner at the snack shop across the street. Our train was 15min late arriving at the Florence train station. I fell asleep on the train and when I woke up the train was slowing down. Normally the train does 250 km/hr but it was doing only 45, turns out they were having technical difficulties and we were now 1/2hr late. By the time the train actually arrived we were probably 45 min behind, so we quickly got onto the metro to head back to the hotel and to bed. We finally got to sleep around 11:30pm.