Today we woke up to more bug bites (if you can believe it, I am up to over 100 bug bites on my arms). Dont worry though, they are like mosquitos or no-see-ems. The only randomly itch and havent welted up. Anyway – we have only two items on the agenda today: to climb the Duomo and to see the David.
So after our breakfast, we bought our 1130 tickets to the climb and headed out the front door to stand in line for our ‘green pass’ (ie covid vaccine card) check. Once we passed that, we scanned our tickets and the climb began. Its 463 stairs to the top – its a lot. You get three breaks. One at the statues, one on the inside of the dome, and one before you descend the stairs basically straight up over the dome to the cupola. At the first break I was sure mom was going to kill me. Thankfully she didnt. When we got to the inside of the dome, she said, “oh we made it,” to which of course I had to say, “no, we didnt.”
Once we finally made it o the top, she sat down and said “I wouldnt have done that if I would have known.” but the views are so pretty and its an experience youll never get anywhere else – so its worth it. Its not easy, but its worth it. So, if you have the chance and you are in Florence, go and climb the Duomo.
The climb down, you also have a stop on the inside of the dome, before heading down a whole bunch of steps, with a stop and “how it was built.” Of course they do not release you into the church when you are done, you are escorted out of the church and if you desire to come back in, you must stand in a queue again to enter from the front. It is free (I believe and have been told). The church isnt as exciting from the inside as it is from the outside. The outside beauty really is one of a kind.
After our climb, our hands were nasty from holding onto the rusting handrails and dirty blocks so we went back to our hotel to wash our hands before reserving our tickets to the David (to avoid the lines) and walking over. Our hotel really was in such a wonderful location, because we had to walk about 5 blocks to get to the Academia (museum with the David).
We picked up our tickets, had our vaccine cards checked and entered the museum. You basically see the David right when you walk in, there is no waiting. It’s a great way to set the museum up, especially since that is what most people have come to see – but there are also some unfinished works, and some plaster molds used to plan the marble carved statues that can often be overlooked. The museum is nice and small. You are not overwhelmed with business – just the David.
We spent some time taking it in and doing some googling to find out more about it, since as crazy as it sounds, they dont have much information written about it IN the museum haha. I think it is their way of encouraging the audio guides or tour guides, but google was fine.
After we finished at the Academia, we decided to walk over to the food market our tour guide had told us about yesterday. We were excited to try some more local food. However, when we got upstairs to the cafeteria, we realized it was a lot of tourists and not a lot of good looking food. None of it really did much for either of us. So we each enjoyed a pop and people watching for a bit, then headed out to find some dinner.
We settled on a place in the Duomo square and got to enjoy people watching again for a while. It is so much fun to watch people see the Duomo for the first time, see the sleezy sales people try to sell selfie sticks and battery packs to tourists and the tour guides explain things to their clients in a million different languages.
After our day of climbing all the stairs we headed back to the hotel for an early night. Tomorrow we head to Venice!