Monday, April 8, 2013

First Day in Florence

Today was the day we decided to head to Florence, and after some debate, we ended up getting a rental car (we got a Peugeot 308 sw) to drive there, instead of taking the train. The drive was long and tedious, around four hours total. The only real interesting thing that happened on the drive was that in and around Genoa there are at least 106 tunnels, many right after the other. When we got to Florence, we drove out to the place where we would be staying. We went down some one lane roads to a little farmhouse, where we met a girl, who showed us to our flat. There were two flats on the top floor of the house. We had a small but sufficient area, a bedroom for our parents, one for us with a bunk bed and a bed beside it. I slept on the top bunk and Griffin slept beneath me. Also there was an area that was sort of a kitchen/living room. Once we got our stuff set down we headed back out to the city. We drove to the nearest town then took a train into Florence. Once we got there we headed straight to the Duomo (different then the one in Milan). The church was nice, but it is hard to be impressed when you have seen Milan's Duomo. Still it was really cool, and had Brunelleschi's dome on top. Considered an incredible piece of architecture, the dome is pretty awesome. So is the outside of the church, which is actually, unlike most churches, very colorful. After checking all that out Dad wanted to go to the crypt and Hailey and Mom did not. I went with him and saw some amazing things, like roman era mosaics, ancient tombs, and the tomb of Brunelleschi himself. In the Roman times, they had a church here, however, it eventually got buried, and they built another on top of it. After a few centuries, that one was buried too, then though they built another that still stands today. The construction lasted through a few centuries and they kept building it even though they did not know how to build a dome that would not collapse. Eventually, everything but the dome was finished and they were so desperate that they said whoever sent them the best dome design would be given the time, materials, and money to do so. It took a while, but they finally chose Brunelleschi. His design was of the biggest dome made since the Roman Pantheon. It had essentially a dome built around a smaller dome, and after just 14 years of construction, they had a dome. After the church we headed to the Academia Galleria to see the famous David, by Michelangelo. We saw the rest off the gallery too, also cool but David was incredible. He is huge, so much bigger than he looks in pictures. He was meant to go on top of the church, but the people of Florence loved him so much that they put him in front of the Pallazzo Vecchio. But after a few centuries of exposure to the elements, he was finally put in the gallery. We were getting hungry and so we started to look for a place to eat. We eventually were talked into going to a restaurant's outside heated tent area by some guy that works there. We each ordered our dinner, and besides Griffin, were all happy with what we had gotten. Griffin got lasagna and when he found out that there were vegetables in it he would not swallow the bite he had in his mouth. This continued for the whole dinner and was really embarrassing. When we were all finishing he spit it out into mom's napkin. By now it was dark. Before we left, the man who had brought us here gave us tickets to go on the carousel in the piazza outside. I politely said I did not need one, but Hailey and Griffin each got one. After we left the restaurant they rode it. We got to the train station later then we expected and missed the train we were going to get on. So we had to wait a while for the next one. The train we did get on had a big delay, and then they made us change trains. This train had sofas in it and we sat on them until a creepy guy sat down next to us and we moved. The train got to our stop at 9:45ish and we drove home from there, we were so tired we went straight to bed. I'll post again soon.

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