Monday, July 13, 2009
Debbie & David
After we arrived at our hotel, The Excelsior, we were treated to a very interesting introductory art lecture by a Syracuse professor. Lunch was delicious. Debi, our tour guide, told us that the food in Florence is the best. The buffet we had did not disappoint. After lunch we went on an orientation walking tour with a Whisper Guide. We learned about the city and how absolutely lovely it is. The people take great pride in their city. Our guide told us Sienna is the rival city to Florence, and that they hate each other. We go to Sienna on Wednesday. Florence is very clean, in contrast to Milan and Venice (though Venice was cleaner than I thought it would be). The wrought iron lamps on the buildings, the cobbled streets, the gates, flower boxes on windows, wine shops, restaurants, shops...all unique.
I am really enjoying the whisper guides. This is where you wear an earpiece and have a transmitter. The guide talks into the mic and these actually have pretty good range. Then, you do not have to stand so close together just to hear what the guide is saying. Very cool.
One thing did not change throughout Italy, so far, the cars and Vespas, motorcycles, bicycles will ALL run you down.
On our walking tour today, we saw The Duomo from the outside. I would like to see the inside, though our guide said we would probably be let down because the outside is much more beautiful than inside. Tomorrow, a tour of Accademia, the Uffizi Art Gallery and lots more. Stay tuned!