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Quick and wet visit

Sunday, September 4, 2005

For the first time, we had visitors stay with us in our small apartment. Tom and Ruth slept on the fold-out couch, which we tried to make comfortable by placing a down comforter on the thin mattress, in our living room. We stayed up late last night (until about 3AM) talking and catching up. When we woke up this morning, we thought it would be best to just get outside and visit as much of the city as we could. They didn't have any plans of what they wanted to see, but wanted to get more of a feel for the city.

We walked past Piazza della Signoria and I noticed that the right hand of the statue of "il Biancone" (Neptune Fountain) was broken off. I looked up on the Internet and found out that two thirty-year old brothers had tried to climb the statue and the hand (along with the staff) was broke in many pieces.

We then went over the Ponte Vecchio and to Piazza Santo Spirito to have lunch at an outdoor osteria (trattoria/restaurant). We sat under a cool mist that was set up on the umbrella to keep us cool. It felt great since it was sunny and quite humid.

After lunch, we walked past Piazza Pitti and went shopping a little bit. We were planning on going to Piazzale Michelangelo; however, it began to rain. I took a picture of a statue of San Giovanni Battista, which I had never noticed before.

We walked to the Duomo and were so fortunate to not have to wait in line to get in. We walked around the vast church and looked around. After we exited, we were going to pay the 6 Euros to walk up the 414 steps to the top of the Campanile di Giotto (Giotti's tower), but decided to get a drink first. So, we headed to the rooftop of La Rinascente to have a drink.

Afterwards, we didn't go back to the Duomo. We were exhausted from not sleeping enough and walking all morning. We went back home with the intention of taking a nap, but instead we talked some more, and had some wine and cheese.

We decided that we needed to get back outside to check out the city some more even though I was practically falling asleep sitting down. We went to a pub near our house and then stood above the Arno river to talk and keep cool.

Tomorrow our friends drive up to Nice. The short visit was fun even though it was tiring. Hopefully they'll come back again so we can see much more of the city.

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