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Florence, day 2

Breakfast about the same as yesterday, though we discovered that if you can manage to catch one of the staff, you can ask for espresso, capuccino, or cocoa. Which was a good thing, because today the big pot of coffee out on the table was tepid. The capuccino, while bitter, was hot. 

We had 10 o'clock reservations for the Uffizzi, which after negotiating the ticket pickup line, the security screening line, and the entrance line, got us in about 10:20 or so. We agreed to meet in the gift shop at 12:30...which seemed short even then, and after only a little while into the galleries proved ridiculous. There's so much in there, and the crowds also make it hard. Plus my limited art history background....

After that, we sort of started for food, but diverted to do Santa Croce. Robbie's knee gave under her on the way and she fell, so she, her mom, and B. found a place to sit in the piazza and waited while Brian and I and the girls went in. Again, there just wasn't enough time to explore the nooks and crannies and we didn't have a good guide to what was there, only the little free brochure. Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo, and more are buried there, and the art work....again, my background just was inadequate. 

Lunch: what was supposed to be a great place for sandwiches had no seating (I Fratelli), and another that looked great had a tiny seating area that was full (Cantinetta del Verrazzano), so we ended up at yet another pizza place that I've lost the name of. I got a focaccia with prosciutto crudo and rugula, which turned out to be a crisp thin focaccia with the toppings piled on. Good, but unexpected. 

We then just happened to pass a chocolate shop our guide of the day before had pointed out, Arte del Cioccolato, with a lovely selection of truffles and other chocolates. I got a caramel truffle (caramel center, chocolate coated, dusted in powdered sugar, and treated each of the kids to their choice of truffle. 

Split up time: the girls decided it was time and joined the line to climb the Duomo., Robbie, Myra, and B. went to the leather market, and Brian and I went to Piazza della Repubblica to a department store with a rooftop terrace. Alas, the store was very crowded including the terrace and the view was disappointing anyway (mostly roofs) so we retreated without waiting for a table. Walking back we spotted coalboy's recommended Il Pirata, plus another promising gelato shop. We made it to thevhotel for tea at 4:30 or so. 

Dinner was a hotel-recommended restaurant. Ugh, another pizzeria, Il Giardano di Barbano, but it's nearby. Not bad, actually--I had a pork chop that was reasonably well done, and others' pizzas seemed good. 

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Fish-Fred
nlbarber
Nancy Barber

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