I was eager to visit Florence and knew since I was on a shore excursion from a cruise ship it would be difficult to see all the sites and museums I was interested in seeing. Before I left for our vacation and the cruise I looked at the shore excursions that were available from the cruise ship and didn't see any that I was interested in.
I chose to go with the transport bus which took us into the middle of Florence. From there I had mapped out what I wanted to see and how to get there. Because I didn't know where the bus was going to drop us off when I planned out our day I didn't know what I would be seeing first. As it turned out the bus dropped us off next to Florence's largest church Santa Maria del Fiore also called del Duomo.
I visited the church inside for a while then outside taking pictures of the unique exterior before moving on to what I thought would be our next site. I arrived at the Uffizi gallery after a few block walk to discover the museum had been sold out for the day and was already selling tickets for the next day. This would do us no good because the ship was in port for only a day. I had planned on spending a good part of our day in Florence at the Uffizi.
Since Florence was a favorite city of Michelangelo many of his great works of art were in the Uffizi and sadly I wouldn't get to see them. If I had any Idea the Uffizi could be sold out this early in the day or even at all I would have gone on line to the Viator web site where I could have gotten tickets in advance for the exact day I were going to be in Florence.
Now that I had at least 2 extra hours to use I could see one other museum and could spend a little more time at the other sites I had planned on seeing. One museum I wanted to see but didn't think I had time was the Museo di Storia della Scienza which was only a block from the Uffizi. This Museum is leaning more towards old scientific instruments and devices they use back then such as the astrolabe.
I spent about an hour there looking at all the devices I didn't know they had back then and went outside to enjoy the view of the Arno river. The next site I planned to see was the Ponte Vecchio bridge which is a famous landmark in Florence. In this section of Florence the sites I wanted to see were all so close I could stop and see other things on the way from one site to the other. For example I stopped and saw the bell tower of Palazzo Vecchio and bought some art from street vendors while walking to the bridge.
Once I arrived at the bridge I could see it was not a normal bridge since it had many shops selling the local goods as well as a jewelry stores and souvenir shops. I spent a good amount of time on and around the bridge taking in the view and culture which I found so much different than our own.
Originally I hadn't planned on having lunch in Florence because I had so many sites to see I didn't think I would have time, but with the selling out of the Uffizi I ended up having time. I found a nice little restaurant on our way to our last stop of the day and turned out to be funny. I was still a little limited on time so when our waiter came over with the menus I just pointed to another table which had people eating what I wanted to eat saving us some time.
The last site I was going to see for the day was the Accademia Gallery which was only 2 blocks away from our pick up point which was great since it made judging our time in the gallery easier. The Accademia gallery houses the famous Michelangelo sculpture of David. I had seen many pictures of David but had no idea how enormous the statue was standing well over 20 feet and is by far the center piece of the museum. Unfortunately taking pictures in this museum is not allow so David will have to be a memory. I looked at the many other pieces of art in the museum before heading to the pickup point and back to the ship. Overall I had a great day in Florence with wonderful weather.
Because of good planning I was able to see everything I wanted to see in a little time with the exception of the Uffizi gallery. I did learn the lesson of no matter how good your planning is, unless you buy all your museum or city tour tickets in advance nothing is certain.