So, on Wednesday, we happen upon Giotto's tower next to the Duomo, a 114 meter erection built with the prescient eye of a genius who foresaw the needs of modern adventure tourism, in particular re the ultimate experience of climbing the five hundred and forty nine steps leading to the top where visitors can enjoy a refreshing summer breeze or the high, stale winter winds of February 9, 2017.
Tickets had not yet been invented when Michael first visited Florence, so he just went there and counted the steps and enjoyed the breeze. Now we have an army vehicle painted in fatigues parked next to the entrance, and you need a ticket which is very expensive but also avails access to other Duomo venues, in particular the Cupola where you have to make a reservation---the only venue that requires one, meaning that said Cupola is much better than the museum where you don't need a reservation, not to mention the cathedral proper where you don't even need a ticket (you do need a ticket for the toilet, though, see previous post).
Arriving at the top, we realize that the Cupola features a visitor's platform as well, located a few meters higher than ours, vertically speaking.
So we make a reservation for the next day (1049 places left), for 13:30 (1:30 PM), the first time slot available.
We arrive too early on Thursday and have to kill time in the Yellow Bar with a bottle of Prosecco.
And then we (a) have to make it through an intricate vetting procedure reservation-wise, (b) get lost in the cathedral proper, (c) are redirected by a guard to the stair case leading up to the cupola platform, (d) and are told it's only five thousand six hundred forty nine steps, "un numero con implicazioni numerologiche." There are some intermediate platforms, and this is the first we hit:
There are more complications, including the narrow gallery at the base of the Cupola proper, ca. 6 inches wide, which you have to negotiate with a view on oncoming traffic (regardless how you do it, there's a lot of intimate touching, and the Japanese girls blush on contact). (The boys blush, too.)
Anyhow, the stairs continue:
And there we are, with a view on Giotto's tower. Find a caption:
|"I hate the Pope."|