Day Thirteen 

This morning I slept in a bit while Barbara went grocery shopping at the market. She made plans to prepare a dinner for Mady, Sami and myself. Unfortunately, I was attacked by mosquitos during the night. The bites are small though and I hope they disappear soon.

After having a pastry and a cup of tea for breakfast, we set out for the Uffizi Gallery. A person could spend days here enjoying all of the art. We kept it brief though and after stopping to see works by Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio we headed out to find sustenance. We stayed in the Piazza della Signoria and ate outside on the patio at Rivoire. This provided an excellent view for people watching.

Once we were fed, we trecked the short distance to stroll down the Ponte Vecchio. The bridge was packed with fellow tourists meandering from window to window to ogle at all of the overpriced jewelry.

Now being able to say we crossed the Ponte Vecchio we made our way back to the Duomo. We stopped and claimed our tickets to enter into the Baptistery of Saint John (aka Battistero di San Giovanni) and went inside. We did a quick walkthru and then headed over to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. I was a bit unimpressed with the interior decoration considering the beauty of the exterior.

Needing a few more ingredients for dinner, we then set off in search of a grocery store. After we found what we needed, I parted ways with Barbara and headed back to the Duomo to wait for Mady and Sami. We were scheduled to climb the Cupola del Brunelleschi at 15:00 (3pm). The climb to the top includes 463 steps. The warning that this activity is not recommended for people suffering from heart problems, vertigo or claustrophobia should not be taken lightly. By the time we reached the top, I was overheated and my legs were burning, but the view was definitely worth it! After having climbed so high, we decided to stay up there for awhile to soak up the view and make it worth the effort of the ascent. After we made the descent, which I think may have been more of a struggle, we headed to Gelateria Edoardo to reward ourselves for surviving the physical activity. I ordered half chocolate and half hazelnut. It tasted delicious!

I then parted with the girls who had to return to school for a class. I strolled back to the apartment with gelato in hand in a state of disbelief that this was real life. While Barbara was doing her thing in the kitchen, I relaxed on the couch with a Sephora sheet mask. A few hours later, Mady and Sami arrived for dinner. Barbara outdid herself and served an antipasto, spaghetti carbonara, and filet mignon with broccoli. For dessert, we shared the chocolates Barbara had purchased in Split at the candy store. Once the girls departed, it was my turn to go to work and wash up the dishes. My American self really missed having a dishwasher! After the kitchen was cleaned up, it was time to call it a night.

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