We did not know that Day 6 (17 March 2011) was a public holiday in Italy to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy ( I found out only after I came back to Singapore). The hotel receptionist told us that visits to the museums would be free. Bad news: we had already booked our tickets to The Uffizi. Tip: Do some research about public holidays in the country you are going to 😛 Good news: With our tickets, we need not queue to get into The Uffizi!
It was still early after we collected our tickets, so we took a walk along the River Arno, right next to The Uffizi, where we also set our first sight on the Ponte Vecchio.
Unexpected surprise – we caught a parade to celebrate the occasion and it felt good to immerse in the local culture and be part of the local community 🙂
The Uffizi is a magnificent historic building (I cannot remember if it was a hospital or university or both in its history). Now it housed many famous works of art e.g. Leonardo’s Annunciation, Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus….Fortunately and unfortunately (it’s a paradox for me) – no photography allowed.
It’s kind of mission impossible to visit all the galleries in The Uffizi and as usual, Rick Steves’ audio guide came to our rescue. Surely the museum is aware of this, as our tickets allowed us re-entry in the next 2 days (which time did not permit us to). Had a wistful thought then – how nice if we could stay in Florence for a few more days 🙂
In the afternoon, we took a train to Pisa to see the famous tower. It was a short walk to the tower through some touristy streets but we could not stop and shop as we had booked tickets to go up the Pisa Tower to see the sunset…haha…
Many probably does not know or care much about the cathedral and the baptistry in Pisa’s Cathedral Square, both of which are older than the bell tower. So here are some pictures to cap a beautiful day in Florence and Pisa 🙂