For day 2 they had kindly laid on some tours of Florence for us. Emily had managed to book herself onto the only tour at 11am, but the rest of us had a hasty breakfast ☕️🍪 and headed over to Piazza Ognissanti for 9.15am to find our tour guides.
There were still many kilts in evidence – I think perhaps some of the youth had just partied 💃 on through the night and were still wearing theirs. We joined the tour for Sculpture Vultures 🗽, which was being led by Francesca 🇮🇹, who was wearing a good purple hat 👒. She rigged us up with ear phones 🔊, and off we went to have a look at the sculpture 🗽 in Florence. We passed a number of exciting things – Galleria Frilli where they make all sorts of sculptures 🗿🎎, Arte della Seta (silk guild of Florence)🎐, the church of Santa Maria Novella ⛪️, and made our way over to the Baptistery 🏤 to have a look at the doors. Francesca told us many many things – and I can assure you that everything in Florence is ‘FANTASTIC’. I mean you are quite right Francesca, it is. We liked the bronze 🏮 Ghiberti doors a lot, and so did Francesca. It was rather nerve-racking having her voice in your ear 👂 saying ‘over here guys’ when you had wandered off to have a look at a different part of the piazza – beady eyes 👀that Francesca. But she did allow us to remove our ear phones and have a quick coffee ☕️ ,which we did in Scudieri (although apparently Cappuccino is just for breakfast – silly tourists). Alice had hot chocolate ☕️🍫 in which her spoon could easily stand up, and there was a comment along the lines of ‘you’ll have a hot chocolate cast of your intestines’…. We went back to find Francesca, who took us along to Orsanmichele (I liked the alcoves of the sculptures – super patterns), and then to Piazza della Signoria to see David. However at this point we decided to leave Francesca and her sculptures as it was lunchtime 🍝 and that’s important.
Palomi and Garrett were also in Florence by chance last week, and Palomi had found the lovely little Osteria Il Buongustai where we consumed spaghetti 🍝, and crepes 🍮 and some vino rosso 🍷and a BIG beer 🍺 and I have possibly traumatised Garrett forever. Every time I see the poor boy I am in ‘organising people mode’ which scares even me – so I am sorry Garrett, lets have some civilised drinks soon.
Next up was the Uffizi 🏤. We scooped up some other members of the team, and took a hasty tour of the Uffizi 🏤🎨 – which, by the way, goes on forever. Don’t be fooled into thinking it is just one floor, and I would advise you to give the early renaissance art a miss unless it really is your thing. It turns out there is a whole floor downstairs full of the stuff you actually want to see – Leonardo Da Vinci, some splendid Titian’s, Caravaggio 🎨. To be fair to them, there is a cafe half way round the museum, and we should probably have stopped for a quick espresso ☕️ – it was needed. We did enjoy Botticelli’s Prima Vera 🌸💐👸, and I love the Tribuna 🏯. It was fun, we got some excellent photos 📷, and I feel that Harry and James got a much needed decent dose of Florentine culture 😉.
Ice Cream 🍧🍦 next – we had a lovely gelato with Annabel who also turned out to be in Florence for the weekend, on the Ponte Santa Trinita in I think the only sunshine ☀️ of the whole trip.
AND THEN WE WENT REELING 👯👯.
We dolled ourselves up – I had a dress crisis, and changed dress at the last minute 😳👗 – and took ourselves off to the St Regis hotel. We were on four separate tables for dinner – so we organised some ‘speed dating’ – boys to move table each course. Excellent. It really probably was the most absurd evening I have attended and I spent 4 years in St Andrews… Let’s just dress in white tie, have a grand dinner and go dancing in a Palazzo in Florence…..
The dancing took place in Palazzo Corsini – this was fun, as we were dancing in the ballroom, and our tables were spread throughout the different rooms of the palazzo, and there is a lovely balcony of sorts overlooking the Arno 🚣. The youth had been placed nearest to this, I suspect because we are the ones most likely to be having a hasty cigarette 🚬 break between reels. Apparently one set actually did an Eightsome on the balcony – I am so jealous. SO I have to say, the ballroom in the Palazzo Corsini just wasn’t big enough. I am sorry Bartolomeo Corsini but we needed more space. We did the Dashing White down the corridor, which was splendid apart from the fact we couldn’t really hear the band 🎶❌…. but everyone got the hang of the tight space, and we reeled to our hearts content 💃❤️. We did a fantastic Eightsome – it was dinosaur themed 🐉- for any still confused onlookers and Jamie and Ed (we realised after, that they had missed the dinosaur lunch discussion, and thought we were just being weird). The wine 🍷🍷also almost ran out – really they should have known that with 400 Scots under one roof, they needed more than surplus…..
But WHAT an evening, and Jamie got a year older at midnight – awkwardly they sang happy birthday to someone else – but HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jamie 😊😊🎈🎂. After, the weary ones of us headed back to Villa Carlotta and others followed the bagpipes into the night towards the cluub 💃. Rumour has it there was a Eightsome in Piazza Ognassanti at 4am, and a number of older Scots were not very impressed by being woken by the bagpipes at this early hour – I imagine the Florentines were also most confused.
It was just so much fun, but we were there for one more day 😘.