We were up bright and early this morning for another The Tour Guy tour, this time for exploring the Medici at the Galleria and Uffizi. If we were lucky, we’d find some gelato too!
I was a bit apprehensive leading up to this, given our exhaustion level after the Venice tour. I needn’t have worried. Fortunately, our guide was sensitive to the intensity of the tour, giving well-timed breaks and pointing out when seats were available. We paced ourselves through the extended tour with energy to spare.
The Galleria dell’Accademia was awesome. We were especially fortunate to have art historian, Frederica, as our guide. We focused on every word with the intensity of students preparing for an pop quiz. Everything that she said was that fascinating.
Two of the most memorable sculptures were …
And, of course, the star …
Initially, Frederica asked us to assemble to the right of the statue. As she explained the significance of various features, she moved us slowly around to the opposite side. We gained a totally different perspective and understanding of this magnificent piece of art.
We moved on to the Medici Palace.
The Medici Palace garden with potted lemon trees.
The Duomo was next. Frederica related an interesting story of how the church was built in several phases.
…and because this tour guide was so awesome, we visited a gelato shop. It featured a ‘wall of chocolate’…
The group meandered to the Ponte Vecchio, where we got a few more pics of the incredible view down the Arno River.
Then it was lunchtime. We were too hungry to take pics of the food.
However, on my way to the restroom, I spotted this row of pumpkins lined up outside the kitchen, awaiting their inclusion to a future meal.
After lunch, we met up with our tour group outside the Uffizi Gallery. It was a treat to once again have Frederica as our tour guide.
Almost immediately upon entering the Gallery, we spotted a duo of paintings that looked familiar. Then I realized that I knew almost nothing about them.
These portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino were painted after her death, hers from her death mask. Quick Wikipedia check reveals that she died at 25 when she failed to recover from the birth of their seventh child in 1472. I can’t help but think that her skin tone was a result of exhaustion.
I’m still musing about her arm. Doesn’t that look like some ink that we might see today?
Other remarkable sightings in the Gallery
After naps (our afternoon routine, these days) we prepared to search for dinner.
We queried the bartender at our hotel for some more dinner ideas. He jotted down a few names of restaurants that cater more to locals than tourists. They all required a bit of a walk, but we were game.
La Natalino was the agreed-upon target, about a 10-minute walk from the hotel. After navigating alleys and back streets, we located this cozy gem.
It was well worth the trek. I noted that we were the only English speakers in any of its dining rooms. That was a coup. My travels have shown that if locals frequent a restaurant, the quality is a bit higher and prices are lower. The locals simply know better.
As we waddled back to our hotel, my Fitbit ticked over 13,000 steps. We collapsed into bed for some well-deserved sleep.