Day 14: Wednesday August 4th, 2004 Read Short Version View Photos

Short Version Instructions: Only read every other paragraph.

We woke up a bit early today, had breakfast then walked down to the Uffizi, the main art museum in Florence. We thought it opened at 8:30, which was what time it was when we arrived, but it actually opened fifteen minutes earlier. Either way, we still had to wait 45 minutes outside then another 10 inside after going through the metal detector and buying our tickets. The museum was huge and had tons of art and sculpture, but on the downside it was huge and had tons of art and sculpture. We made our way through the whole thing in about an hour and a half then walked back to the hotel.

Thumbs Up: Sienna We then walked one street over and got our Jag out of the garage, and set out to go to Sienna. With minimal wrong turns (although practically anything was minimal after the previous day's driving adventures), we made it onto the freeway and into Sienna about 45 minutes later. We found a parking garage that wasn't full then walked up a huge hill to the city itself. We immediately set out to find food. Alan had spied a Chinese restaurant he wanted to go to while walking up the hill, so after a quick search we located it and had a leisurely lunch. The food wasn't bad, but the portions were tiny, and we subsequently ended up with the cheapest meal ever: $36 and change for the four of us.

We climbed up more hills up to the Duomo of Sienna, waited in line for 15 minutes then went in and explored the huge and beautiful church. We stayed inside where it was much cooler than outside for about 45 minutes. Afterwards we walked through some shops and Bekki bought an original painting and some cookies. We made our way down to the main square, took some pictures then got some gelato. After hanging out for a bit we retraced our steps back down the huge hill to our car and got back out on the road again.

As we left Florence in the morning, we had seen lots of banners hanging from streetlights advertising "The Museum of Torture" that was in Volterra. On our way out of Sienna we decided we had enough time to make it to this museum on the way back and took the appropriate exit off the freeway. We made our way through a few small towns and ended up in the middle of the Tuscan countryside for 20 minutes or so. We finally made it to the town and saw the banners again, however on these banners it listed specific dates, September 3rd through 5th.

Thumbs Down: Non-existent museums We drove around the town hoping to find it anyway to no avail. Defeated, we left and drove back the way we came, back into Florence and to the parking garage. We decided on 8 PM for dinner, rested for an hour then walked a bit far to an "eclectic" restaurant recommended by the Fodor's Italy guide we had. While the food was pretty good, both Jessie and I had been craving "normal" Italian food, which this restaurant was devoid of.

I got the only things that looked remotely appetizing on the menu, melon and procciuto and a steak, Bekki got a red salad with cheese on it and a steak, Jessie got caprice and split a huge steak with Alan, who also got caprice and rigatoni with an anchovy sauce. The chairs were uncomfortable, we were tired and stuffed and the service was extremely slow, so Jessie and I left, took some pictures by the Arno River, found a gelateria then went back to the hotel. I watched a wannabe Cirque du Soleil on TV until Bekki came back, then quickly fell asleep.