I met up with Annie and Dad Saturday morning at the Hotel Roma in Piazza Santa Maria Novella, across from Hotel L’Orologio where Aunt Jill, Lindsey and Mom stayed in March. I immediately took the starving souls to Wine Bar in San Lorenzo for an early lunch where young Anne enjoyed her first taste of alcohol, ever, with a glass of Chianti. We took a quick tour of Santa Maria Novella and made our way up to Piazza Michelangelo for a photo-op while the weather was still nice. Afterwards, we attended an Italian mass at San Ambrogio, the small church down the street from my apartment. We had time to relax at Mom’s favorite wine spot in Piazza San Ambrogio before dinner at Acqua al 2 (Blueberry steak!). Annie and I parted ways with Father (we imagine he went directly back to the room), she stayed in my apartment while Haley was traveling. We met with Kayna and Dee at Bigalow’s and said a brief “Ciao” to Libby at Lochness before heading in.
The three of us were in line at the Accademia early Sunday morning to see David – waiting about thirty minutes in the rain before the guy behind us started to get irritated and talked the guard into letting us in. David looked beautiful as ever (I won’t dwell anymore on his grandeur, read the previous posts). Annie went back to my apartment for a nap while Dad and I looked around San Lorenzo and Santa Croce, which holds the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Dante. We picked up Annie and headed to Fiesole to see the tomb of St. Romulous and another gorgeous view of Firenze. After the bus ride back from Fiesole, we walked to the Ponte Vecchio and did some exploring on the other side of the Arno before pizza at the famous “Gusto” in Santo Spirito.
Monday we met Dad in Piazza Republicca for cappuccino and pastries at Gilli. Annie and Dad climbed the Duomo while I went to Italian class and we met afterwards on the steps of Santa Maria del Fiore. Dad went to Piazza Signoria to visit the Uffizi (unfortunately, it is closed on Mondays) - Annie and I went gift shopping in San Lorenzo market. I took them to Kitsch for aperitivo and the three of us met Lena for a quick drink at Old Stove before calling it a night.
Dad and I had decided to reserve spots on an 18-mile bike tour/wine tasting of Tuscany that Tuesday – which we did without the knowledge of Annie. Dad and I biked the whole tour, while a combination of exhaustion and on/off down pouring was enough incentive for Annie to remain in the van with Jacopo, our driver who rocked pink Supergra sneaks better than anyone I’ve seen in Italy. The ride up the mountain was beautiful for the most part, despite the fact we were soaked for the entire event. The tour included lunch at a vineyard and we were given a step-by-step tour of how the wine and olive oil was produced. On the ride back we stopped for a well-deserved gelato and finished at the bottom of the mountain where the bus took us back to the center. Annie and I went back to the apartment to dry off and grab our luggage while Dad bought the train tickets to Rome. We met at the Art Nouveau-style café next to the station and picked up sandwiches which (in edition to Gusto train pizza) we ate for dinner en route to Roma Termini.