**The Divine Secrets of Italian Line-Waiting: If there is open space ahead of you, fill it, even if other people stand between you and the space. If you don't, someone else will.**
Hm. Got up early, and by early I mean 9 am (only set alarm back 1 hour, go us!). Off to see how bad line at Accademia was. Ugh, super-bad, over 1 hr. Decided to reserve tix for tomorrow by phone for Accademia and Uffizi.
Walked down to Duomo, passed another card shop. Shop inexplicably populated by 3 women, no men. Are all lights on in Green Building? But Star Trek and Star Wars boosters all in English, so moved on.
Line rather long at Duomo, but seemed to be moving quickly. Got in line, inside church in under 10 min. Church v. pretty, much less overwhelming w/ more stained-glass and less frescoes. Stairs led down to crypt. Costs 2. 58 euro, but looked interesting, so entered. Crypt turned out to be v. cool with layers and artifacts from different eras. Well worth 2.58 euro.
Outside, contemplated climbing Giotti's tower, but costs money and no elevator, so went to Baptistery instead. Baptistery nice, v. cool shiny pictures on dome interior. Has 4 tracks showing scenes from Bible stories. Deciphered Creation & Flood (first track) by singing Children of Eden, Joseph (second track) by singing Lloyd Webber. Jesus (third track) already has 2 shows, so decided John the Baptist (fourth track) needs own musical, to be named "Baptize Me, Johnny!" or "Oh Look, She's Dancing Again." Amy thinks lack of happy ending (ie beheading of main character) could be a deterrent. Reply that many musicals lack happy ending, eg Cabaret. Amy counters that Cabaret not Bible story. Conceded the point.
Decided to reserve museum tix. Managed to buy Italian phone card, operate same, and make reservations with v. little trouble. Go me! Then wandered across river, obtaining panini for Amy and gelato for both (heaps of gelato necessary when choosing gelateria). Got crema for 3rd time, tasted neither like cake batter nor eggnog, instead more like plain sweet cream. V. good. Finished gelato at plaza of Pitti Palace, decided to visit Boboli Gardens. Gardens v. gorgeous, many winding paths, fountains, arbors, naked statuary. Also some clothed. Gardens v. peaceful. Pretended to live in Much Ado about Nothing, Jane Austen novel, and similar. Next headed for Palatine Museum and Royal Apartments in Pitti Palace. First part of museum all many paintings in huge rooms. Finally got to Royal Apartments, v. beautiful. Rooms amazingly sumptuous. Want to be rich Medici.
On way back, began shopping in earnest for leather wallet for Rogue. On Ponte Vecchio, incredibly, ran into Ken and Matt from MIT, known to Amy from Course 16 and to me from Spanish. They are on exchange program in Spain for semester and touring Europe (Amsterdam and Italy) on Easter break. Nice conversation with them. Amazing. Such a small world.
After poking noses in many shops, finally found perfect wallet at Junior leather shop. Hip hip hooray! Now to find market, get dinner supplies, and go home. Success! Found rather large supermarket close to home, bought foccaccia, fresh mozz, meat, yogurt, chocolate, plates & knives. Had feast of Italian sandwiches at hotel. Fresh mozz. incredible. Could eat entire hunk in one go. Silly maid-girl had disposed of toothbrush glasses, so must drink wine straight from bottle. Oh well, must all make sacrifices. Now sated, must go to bed as have 10 am Accademia reservation