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Well today we did it all… The Accademia, the Uffizi and the most fascinating walk through historic Florence. I started off early with a little bit of window shopping – just to see what is available. I was on the hunt for a quality green leather bag  but wanted something different from what I have seen in so many shops (all the same), and repeated again in the countless numbers of leather stalls around the centre here.

Then it was off to the Accademia to meet David – what an utterly huge and magnificent piece that is. You think you know how good it will be, but it is so much better and along the way there is so much other beautiful art to soak up. You are not allowed to take photos in the Accademia, but here the outdoor replica of David in nearby Piazza della Signoria, outside the Palazzo Vecchio:

The historic walk took us to places we had no idea were there, and which we would have missed save for the brilliant guide we had – Ishmael – he was so learned, so incredibly informative, so passionate about what he had to share and to top it all, was pretty damn handsome as well. He imparted so much information it has made me hungry for more. The history of the Duomo and the Baptistery etc was fascinating and the buildings are quite incredible. Here is the golden orb on top of the Duomo – hit in past history  by lightning strikes…..

Phil and I went for a wander on our own this evening, had antipasti and prosecco before a little more shopping – found a stylish linen shirt for Phil and oh yes, finally my green bag – twice the price of those in  the market, but hand dyed leather, and made here in Florence by an artisan …. then we had the most brilliant meal in Ristorante Hostaria Il Desco (recommended by the bag maker’s wife)- it was in a little side street, but was full. The staff were attentive, but not instrusive, the menu was different and the food was fabulous. Not only that, the ambience was perfect,  especially for a couple. You can find it here : http://www.ristoranteafirenze.com. Final stop for the evening?  The Ponte Vecchio at dusk….