Florence – Day 5

Bells ring in Sunday, and we’re off for our walk to the Pitti Palace. It’s a short hike though the crowds at Ponte Vecchio are thick even on a Sunday morning. Jason got our tickets on line, and the deal is you transfer those to physical tickets on arrival.

Roar. Photo by Nora.

You have to wonder what life was like living in this massive palace back in the day. There a very distressed-looking lion carving, and it seems he’s had enough of it all. Then there’s the massive courtyard inside, and Jason and I agree we’d enjoy such a space, with rooms opening out to it.

Garden view. Photo by Nora.

We’re advised—and thanks to the ticket taker—to do the gardens first before the heat on the day, and we’re directed around and about for a flatter entryway for the stroller. It’s still a challenge to maneuver it and its passenger over loose gravel. Then there’s the steep, steep incline which Kat manages and Griffin enjoys as it’s Up, Up, Up!!

Gravel is fun! Photo by j-ab.

Up, around, up more for our first gorgeous view where the city spreads out below and the mountains rise behind it. All those sun-baked colors, the red roofs, the domes and towers make a hell of a picture a camera can’t truly capture.

Florence view from Pitti Palace. Photo by Nora
Photo by Kayla.
Photo by j -ab
Kayla approved? Photo by Nora.

Then it’s up, up and up some more. If any of the residents regularly walked the gardens they must’ve had calves like stone and well-tuned hamstrings. It’s worth it for the views that never seem to end. At the top of each long stretch of stairs you can see forever, and thick green hedges, tall, thin cypress, huge old twisted trees line the walkways.

Group shot!

Up more stairs, curving ones, and we reach the top and the brave flowers that fight the unseasonal heat. Pictures here, and pictures there, take in the views after our long climb.

In the gardens – Nora’s happy place. Photo by Nora.

There are ways around for strollers, wheelchairs, but they’re not easy, and they’re longer. Griffin’s treated to a carry-down in his stroller by his parents. And LOVES it.

We pause awhile, a bench in the shade by a very interesting sculpture. And Griffin has some olives—a favorite—and a cookie.

Taking a look. Photo by Kat.

Down and down some more on the stroller-coaster ride, and that is, no question, the boy’s favorite part of the outing.

Photo by Kayla.

Into the slightly cooler palace now. Griffin and Company take the lift, the rest of us the stairs. A lot more stairs. And into the world of art. Glorious paintings, some massive, some small, and the light in them is magic. Heavy on the religious art, of course, and many paintings of the BVM and Baby Jesus. Saints and sinners abound, as well as portraits of serious-looking men and women.

Photo by j a-b.

The rooms themselves are art with their curved ceilings covered with murals, the marble, the ornate doors, gorgeous inlaid tables. You could wander for hours and still be struck with wonder moment by moment.

Photo by Kayla.
Photo by Kayla.
Photo by Kayla.
Photo by kayla.
Photo by BW.

We do a lot of that wandering, then Griffin spots a huge urn. To him, it’s a trophy and he wants it for his own. I can’t blame him.

Photo by Kayla.

We cut our palace tour short. With the hiking, the heat, the close air inside and the crowds, we decide to break for lunch—and sitting down.

Through more crowds and to a table in the restaurant where we had dinner our first night. And it is lovely to sit. Have food, drink wine, and water, water, more water.

Perfect pizza. Photo by kayla.

We also make a plan. We’ll head home, refresh, then the girls will head out to the stalls to make serious inroads in our shopping agenda.

Amothe the leather stalls. Photo by kat.

We do just that, and with great success all around.

It’s so colorful there, all the scarves, the bags, the belts, the leather jackets. Three females on a mission can get a lot accomplished. We’re loaded and satisfied on our walk back.

I decide it’s Bellini time on the terrace—seems fair. However, it doesn’t turn out that way. A cord’s on the floor in front of the door and somehow finds its way between my big toe and the next. Yanks hard. I catch myself—that’s good—but the cord’s dislocated my toe! Doesn’t hurt much really, but it doesn’t look right either. I go to sit on the terrace, elevate it while Kat fixes me an ice bag. While she’s at it, I decide to see if I can wiggle the toe. Hear and feel it pop back in place. But that little piggy’s had some trauma. Ice, ibuprofen, elevation.

Doesn’t take long for the bruising to show.

No walking out and about for me, so dinner in.

Jason, Kayla and BW head out to pick up some salads, sandwiches, pasta. Stupid toe’s stiff and some swollen. No racing with Griffin tonight!

Still, a nice little family dinner a fresco and a lazy evening at home—with some gelato that Jason goes out to bring back.

This morning, there’s swelling, stiffness and spreading bruising, so no morning workout, which I resent!

But Griffin comes out as I write this, and I take a pause to join his hilarity in his very strange Cookie Swirl video. You can’t be too cranky when a kid’s gut-laughing beside you.

I’ll surely have to pamper this toe today, so maybe hang out, read a book or start playing with one of my own.

We’ll find something fun today because it’s: Happy Birthday, Kat Day!!

Tons of love to the best daughter-in-law in the history of daughters-in-law!


Bruce sent a video tour of the flat which I’ll share at a later date. Somehow he wound his way to this guy. ~Laura

BW and Mao.

6 thoughts on “Florence – Day 5”

  1. I’m impressed again at what is packed into a single day. The heat and all the climbing would do me in. But, those ornate ceilings were gorgeous!

    Hope the toe behaves. I think with all the walking and climbing you can claim your workout was done!

    Looking forward to more. 🙂

  2. Hope your toe heals quickly and well, Nora! And a very happy birthday to Kat. 🎉🎂😄

  3. Ouch, ouch, ouch!!! I’ve had similar mishaps and can sympathize. Hope it settles down fast for you. I hope you got the jacket you modeled in the picture – it looked great and so comfortable.

    Happy Birthday, Kat! Hope you had a fantastic celebration.

    Any time I marvel over the gorgeous ceiling murals I remind myself they were done with no help from artificial lighting. The details are just that much more magnificent. Looking forward to BW’s video, hope it shows how he got up to Mao! Stay safe.

  4. Ah, Florence … so happy you’re all able to travel again. Hope for Miss Kayla, it was worth the wait. Enjoy, and watch out for loose cords on floors. Yikes.

  5. Enjoyed the sightseeing, shopping and eating. Sorry about you hurting your toe..hoping it heals quickly 🙏🏻🙏🏻

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