Today, we got up early at our only somewhat dingy hotel (which is also a converted palazzo but not that nice ayway). We choked down the nastiest breakfast that I've had here and went out.
For kicks, we climbed up into the belltower next to the Duomo. It's quite famous but, let me tell you, it's one fuck of a climb. R said something like 480+ steps or the like. Let's just say, only the people at the top of the cupola in the Duomo were higher than us. I literally had to stop and sit for five minutes when I made it to the top (and R did too and she's been working out so no cracks about how out of shape I am...). Luckily, the urge to puke into the piazza of the Duomo in Florence from the top of the belltower did flee. I can tell you that we aren't going up into the cupola now.
The view up there was great. You could see Florence in all directions and I got some good shots (I hope) with my camera. We seem to be here on some bigass anniversary for Florence (and I haven't been able to find out details) so we saw a bit of a parade, marching band, Florentine outfits, a cannon, etc. from the top. We've run into it several times since then as well so a lot seems to be going on today.
Following this, we collapsed at a cafe after climbing down and drank about a liter of bubbly water. We then carried our bags to our new hotel, Albergo Scoti, which is by the river aka the Arno. Check in wasn't until about 2:00 pm, so the resident had us leave our stuff and we wandered around Florence a bit more. Eventually, we ended up at the famous bridge (the name is escaping me) and took some time crossing it and looking around. Tucking into a mom and pop ristorante, I had the best food that I've had the whole time in Italy, some lasagne.
After, R and I went back towards the Duomo. We stopped at a shop on the way and found some nice images of Florence and the Duomo that she wanted to get. I picked up a couple of extremely nice leatherbound blank books, one for my BoS with my current work, and something like 16 cards with an image of the Baptistry on it for my Ogdoadic brothers and sisters in the Aurum Solis. Finally, we went back to the Duomo but much of it was partitioned off because of some event happening later. I wanted to try to get some shots of the image of Ficino (I think) that I saw there. We did pick up some things in the gift shop though.
Finally, we went back to our hotel and saw our beautiful room there. The main room of the hotel has frescoes covering every wall and the ceiling. It's all old work. Our room is actually spacious, with nice furniture (including tables, chairs, a wardrobe) and a brand new, remodeled bathroom with shower. It's heaven. We decided to stay for another night so we'll have the place for the next three nights before going to either Naples or Assisi.
R is taking a nap so I came down to do a little Internet. I'm staring at the Arno, which is just outside my window (I could jump into it from here) and the bridge is about 100 feet away. Florence is such a beautiful old city.
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