Another nice day (weather) … 1/2 hour walk to visit Galleria dell’Academia to see Michelangelo’s David in the “flesh” …17 feet high, gleaming white, with a halo-like dome over his head … a must-see when one comes to Florence … again, no photography allowed … you’ll have to come see for yourself.
Next, the first visit to a street market … kept our valuables close … lot’s of leather goods & scarfs … prices do not compare to China … crowded with tourists!
Lunch … met two interesting gals … widows we think … sisters (Pat & Janet) … Pat admitted to be 78 … traveling together, driving a car through Italy, France & Switzerland !!! … (gave Mel a shot of courage to start the drive to Como on Friday). they were a couple interesting gals to share ‘adventure travel tales.’
Then Karen says “let’s go down on the Plaza and people-watch’ … found a spot to sit (crowded) … soon we were chatting with a couple from eastern Oregon ‘farm country’ (Paul & Marge) … they just returned from a visit with their daughter in Milan, Italy … stopped by Florence to take in the culture.
Also chatted with an American couple from New Jersey visiting Florence while on a land tour of Italy (Globus Tour Company).
The people-watch continued and soon we were in a discussion with a cute petite gal (Molly) sitting alone next to us … she recently graduated from Washington University … degree in Environmental Organic Farming … she came to Italy alone for a few months to do volunteer work with the World Organic Farming organization … learn more about organic farming … just finished a week picking grapes … wasn’t sure what’s next or where she would be staying. We asked how her parents felt about this adventure … “they hate it … Mom calls me everyday asking if I’m OK & where next.” She seemed a bit lonely but eager to get to the next chapter in her adventure. Mel felt she wanted to chat with a “father-figure” … a warm conversation then said our goodbyes and she quickly faded into the crowd of tourists.
Evening and time for a guided wine tasting tour. Met our guide, Suzy … turns out we were the only customers so we had a private tour. Met Suzy on the Bridge and walked to the West Bank area … rarely visited by tourists … many academics and international graduate students live here … kind of a “Starbucks” feeling without the glitz … Suzy was born and raised right here … took her education in France, Germany & England … dearly loves Florence and one believes she will never live anywhere else. Enjoyed good wine, warm conversation … made the evening fly by!
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