Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Florence- Day 8

After a few days in Certaldo, we took a quick train to Florence. After checking into our hostel, Linda gave us a quick walking tour to get us oriented. This of course included the Baptistery and the Doumo.
Ghiberti's doors to the baptistery.


Bell Tower.

I feel really bad, but I can't remember the name of this church.

We went to the Academia, to see Michelangelo's "David". It was pretty spectacular. For some reason everyone was surprised at how big it is in real life, but it was pretty much the size I expected it to be. We saw some other cool things at the Academia, including unfinished sculptures by Michelangelo, an amazing huge tapestry, and small, hand painted Russian icons.

This is the copy of the David. Not quite as cool as the real thing, but still pretty neat.

We walked around a bit more until it was time for dinner. I don't have any photos (because they weren't allowed), but this dinner was so spectacular, I just have to tell you about it.

We walked into the dining room, which was full of small tables, most for about four people, and theater type chairs. You could see into the kitchen, where there was chicken roasting over a spit. The first thing they set out were about five or six different dishes and some bread. These were always available through out the whole meal. I'm not really sure what they all were, but my favorite was some kind of vegetable dish.

When a new dish was about to be served, the cook would stick his head out of the kitchen and start yelling in Italian, and everyone would run up to where the food was being served. And because the whole event was in Italian, we never knew what we were going to get next! But we knew it was going to be delicious. A few of the things we ate that I could identify:

some kind of sardines
cold beet and potato salad
pasta with meat sauce
fish soup
something that had squid in it
clams in some kind of broth that I am still thinking about. I kid you not. I don't even eat clams. Still thinking about them.
a giant prawn
roast chicken and potatoes
real whipped cream and some type of Italian cookie for dessert

This is only a fraction of what we ate. The dinner lasted for about two hours, and this is only the stuff I remember, or again, could identify. After dessert, they took away the tables, turned the chairs around and had a jazz concert. It could not have been a better first night in Florence.

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