TRAVEL THERE: WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S TOO HOT?
If I am being honest and I always like to be, I have to admit the opportunity to see Palazzo Pitti was one of the highlights of my life. I didn’t realize just how much I was going to love it. I still regret not seeing the David and the Uffizi Gallery, but the Pitti was pretty amazing.
That’s how I was feeling as we abandoned the Palazzo for the Giardino di Boboli. However, something was happening around me that was going to put a dent in that. When we disembarked our bus on the edge of Florence’s Old City, it was still the cool of the morning. It got less cool as we tramped around the city and by the time we got to the Palazzo, we were grateful for the air conditioning.
As we strolled through the Palazzo, the temperature had strolled up the thermometer. As soon as we entered the garden we were in a stifling hot day. I wished that the guide had started here, but it was too late for regrets.
We were all taking pictures of the amphitheater at the edge of the gardens when our guide announced it was too hot to see the gardens. Talking about hot, I was ready for a melt down. Sure I was happy to have seen the Palazzo Pitti, but I’d given up Michelangelo’s David for this garden and she thought it was too hot. If I hadn’t dumped the guide in the Palazzo, then this was certainly the time to walk away.
Being part of a group that is traveling together gives things a different perspective. If Bill and I had been alone on this one, I think I might have dumped the guide and the shore excursion. Bill would have balked, because it was getting time for lunch and he’s a little wary of striking out on our own on foreign soil. However, this was the Boboli Gardens she was so casually dropping from our itinerary and I was upset.
Off We Go
The rest of my group was all for dumping the gardens. While I just might have been able to convince Bill to play truant for the balance of the day, after canvassing the others I realized I was in the minority. I adjusted my attitude and followed the guide out to the Ponte Vecchio. Not only did we have the scalding heat to contend with, but while we’d been enjoying the Pitti Palace hundreds of tour buses had been belching their passengers into Florence’s Old City and it seemed as if most of them were hanging out on the bridge.
This was the photo opportunity we were promised earlier in the day, but our guide either forgot or didn’t care. She was speed-walking across the bridge and Bill was none to happy about it. Every time he lingered to get a photo, he’d look up and see a sea of tourists but not our guide with holding up her sign with the number “12.” He was none to happy.
Piazza della Signoria
Bill and I managed to keep up with our guide, but only barely. Once over the bridge, we trotted a few more blocks and found ourselves in the famous Piazza della Signoria. People who had watched the Medici mini-series (like me) knew immediately where we were.
Guide lady did allow generous time for picture taking in the piazza, but by now it was really hot and we were really hungry. I was all out of sorts, because I hadn’t gotten to see the Boboli. Florence was not anywhere close to being my “most memorable vacation yet,” but everyone else was as hungry and hot as I was. Not much cheerful chatter was going on.
The day is far from over, but I’ll stop today’s post here. Come back next week for the rest of Florence.