After about 11 hours of traveling, mosting sitting on our butts in Economy Class. We’ve arrived in Firenze (Florence). Exhausted.

We are on the top floor of Hotel David with a view from our ample balcony of the Duomo. Yes, we’ve just arrived but this is where I’ve spend quite a bit of our first day, mostly reading (with my eyes closed) on one of the lounge chairs with the view of the dome.

We have a talent it seems for visiting countries during their national holidays. We’ve been in Canada for Canada Day, in France for Bastille Day and now it appears we are here in Italy for Republic Day on June 2nd. We realized this while trying to arrange for a pick up from our “rickshaw” driver who will be giving us a tour of the old city tomorrow. We expect it will be quite the zoo. Streets will be closed. there will be parades and marching bands. I’ve seen tests of fireworks in the city center.

While he didn’t start with that concern our tour director casually mentioned that since our hotel was on the other side of the river he wouldn’t be able to pick up us at our hotel, which was the plan since Ruby is just getting over physical therapy on her foot. The first place he suggested is over a mile away. Not convenient using a cane. Every place we suggested is “outisde the old city” a place that a “touristic” is not supposed to go. It may be an interesting tour since it appears that the policei have blocked off so many streets for the celebrations.

After sitting on the plain for those hours I needed to take a walk. I walked down our side of the Arno River to the Porta San Niccolò a stone gate from Florence’s 1300s city wall. Above it are a series of stairs that climb up the hill toward a fountain and falls which affords beautiful views across the river to the City.

Our hotel is right on the River Arno which makes navigation pretty easy. If you can find the river you can find our hotel. They have a delightful “happy hour” every night from 6:30 – 8:00. One of the first lessons you learn while enjoying your drinky-poos and munchies outside on the patio is never leave your table unattended because the multitudes of pigeons are more than happy to clean up after you.

Not much more to report tonight. A shower, melotonin and, hopefully a good night’s sleep and then Festa della Repubblica tomorrow!