Day 7 – Arrivederci Venice, Ciao Florence! (And the discovery of Nutella)

parting shot of venice
parting shot of venice

We ended our stay in Venice with breakfast at the hotel, and the waitress’s delight in plying our daughters with extra containers full of Nutella.  They had never had it before, but I’m sure it will be an instant addition to their European culinary adventures.  We tried to tell them that its just not the same in the US, and it really isn’t, but they didn’t believe us.   And so it goes.  The girls have expanded their eating repertoire since we’ve been here and that’s been great to see.  Izzy, the fish and fruitatarian has started eating meat sauce of all things, and they’ve both added clams and mussels to their list of foods they love.  So maybe the food in Venice wasn’t so bad after all.

heading back to tronchetto
heading back to tronchetto

We left Venice with a sigh, though we definitely felt sated.  I don’t know if we just breeze through things too quickly or what, but I have no idea why someone would tell you to spend 4 days in Venice.  Especially if you’re a New Yorker and used to walking, there is no way you need that kind of time.  So, we headed back to the Autostrada fully satisfied with our stay and looking forward to Florence.  The girls looked forward to watching Tom and Jerry in the car.

marlin says goodbye venice

We had a great ride through Emilia Romagna and then Tuscany; through mountains and vineyards, farms and fields all great until we hit Florence and both the hotel’s directions and the GPS failed us completely (again)…

So we ended up like some bad sitcom where we went around and around making U-turns and hitting every roundabout while our GPS frantically tried to recalculate and I tried in vain to spot a street sign.   And of course we finally drove through the streets normally blocked off to traffic until we spotted our hotel across the Piazza della Repubblica and made our way, illegally, to their front door.

We’re staying at the Hotel Pendini.  I found a great rate on their website after finding them on  Honestly, for me Florence is all about location because you’ll never be in the room, and with only a day and half to spend here my main concern was getting around fast and getting a room big enough to fit the four of us.  This fit the bill.  They gave as a huge suite, two bedrooms, the first of which also has the living room in it.  It’s a little rundown and shabby, but its clean, big, air conditioned and right in the Piazza.  The Piazza with the carousel.  That’s all that mattered to my girls.
carousel florence

outside of the duomo
outside of the duomo

Unfortunately, as these things usually go, Sophia has come down with a fever.  It comes and goes but by the time we settled in it was full on and she just wanted to rest.  I gave her Motrin and waited while Corey took Isabel to the merry go round.  Our plan was to hit the Duomo today since tomorrow we have our reservations for the Uffizi and L’Accademia.  Eventually Sophia brightened, and became even more animated after two rides on the merry go round.  And then after gelato she was a brand new kid.  We then all headed to the Duomo, which was closed.  So, we looked from outside then headed to Piazza della Signoria for dinner and statue gazing.

I didn’t think the girls would be so into the art on this trip.  But Isabel was completely taken by the massive marble sculptures in the Piazza.  Which was great until she wanted me to give a full explanation of the Rape of the Sabine Women.  You think when you raise your kids in New York City that you’re confronted with way too many in age-inappropriate questions, what you don’t think about is how much art is about war, brutality and horror.  So I gave the best answer I could without scaring the hell out of her and said that it was about the forcible taking of the women from a place when it had been conquered.  She asked if they were then made slaves and I said yes.   That seemed to satisfy her curiosity.

Tomorrow will bring a lot more art and even more questions I’m sure.  We’ll have to wait and see what will ignite their inquisitiveness again.

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2 replies on “Day 7 – Arrivederci Venice, Ciao Florence! (And the discovery of Nutella)”

  1. Hi All: Just wanted to say I have been following along and loving the narration of your vacation. It has been so long I have seen you and the girls are gorgeous. Miss you. Love, E

  2. I am thoroughly enjoying following your trip this way! so much fun! really wish i was there with you guys, it would really beat being here sitting on my butt eating canned sardines.

    cant wait to hear how you explain manet’s olympia once you get to paris…you will be going to the musee d’orsay i hope! oh and the mona lisa! how exciting!

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