Our plan for today was to take a bus to Siena for a day trip, but we found out this morning that the drivers may be going on strike, so we decided not to chance it. Instead we used our found time to use up our Firenze card at the Pitti Palace and stroll around the Boboli Gardens.
It was a beautiful day, perfect for slow walking with lots of stops to admire the sculpture, the grounds, and the beautiful views of Florence down below. This was a bonus day, so we decided to take our time and not try to see it all. We loved the Boboli Gardens (thanks to Sarah Sutter for suggesting it), especially the 15 minutes or so when we sat on a bench and watched a toddler chase the pigeons all around the Neptune Fountain.
After about an hour in the gardens, we wandered inside for coffee and then entered the Palatine Gallery, a huge collection of Renaissance art in rooms with painted ceilings celebrating Roman mythology. The rooms were jam-packed with paintings, many by artists I never heard of, but there were also many by Raphael, Titian and a few Caravaggios thrown in. There’s much more to the Pitti Palace, but it was a beautiful day and we wanted to get back outside. We took a leisurely walk back over the Ponte Santa Trinita and stopped for a late lunch at a restaurant on the way back to our hotel.
We spent the rest of the day getting organized, washing some clothes, watching Italian TV and packing for tomorrow when we take a train to Milan. I’ve worried a little that we might over-schedule ourselves during this trip, so taking a slow day like today was an excellent idea.