Last week, my wife Adriana and I took a short trip to Florence. She had been there before, but it way my first time in Italy. It was a small holiday for us and a chance to relax, just the two of us. The kids stayed home with their abuelo. We spent five days and the weather was mostly glorious. The first couple of days we did have a bit of overcast, and it was unseasonably warm according to the Italians. One of waiters told us that this kind of extra warm weather never used to happen in September, but in the last five years, it's become the new normal. We stayed in a very nice hotel just a couple of blocks from the Duomo and walked around the old city, checking out the cathedral, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Ponte Vecchio, the Pitti Palace with its Boboli Gardens, the Uffizi Museum and just generally soaking in the atmosphere and savoring the wonderful food.
On Saturday, we took a high speed train over to Venice and had lunch. We returned to Florence that evening with enough time left to enjoy the best spaghetti and roast chicken meal I've ever tasted, and a wonderful bottle of Brunello di Montalicino in a little cafe a few blocks on the other side of the cathedral. On Sunday, we wandered the Uffizi Gallery. Adriana lingered in the Botticelli gallery, while I liked the sculpture. It's nice to see a famous painting in person, if for no other reason than to put it into scale and realize that it's a real work by a real human being. The Birth of Venus is nice, but I kind of preferred the Dyptich of "The Return of Judith to Bethulia". It's so wonderfully bloodthirsty and vibrant.