It was Sunday afternoon in Florence and Barb and I were dead tired. We had just left the Uffizi Gallery, and after the trudge up to the fourth floor and the five hours of working our way through the massive art museum we were running on empty.
The works by Botticelli, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Titian and Raphael roused our intellects and perked our senses, but the cumulative effects of two weeks of travel had taken a physical toll on our weary bodies. It was our last day in Italy.
Our plan after leaving the Uffizi was to find an outdoor café where we would sit for an hour or so, drink a few beers, and relax before an early supper. There was a flight to Frankfort the next morning and then a ten hour plane ride back to the states.
We walked on our leaden legs through Florence. Every seat in every outdoor café in every piazza, it seemed, was occupied by tourists and Florentines enjoying late lunches. We made our way through the Palazzo della Signoria, past its wonderful Neptune fountain and its magnificent Renaissance sculptures, over the jewelry-shop-lined Ponte Vecchio, past the massive stone walls of the Pitti Palace, where the Medicis once resided, and we kept walking until we found ourselves in the square in front of Santo Spirito, a church that has a wooden crucifix carved by a 17-year-old Michelangelo. We walked until we came to a little piazza where I spotted an empty park bench. “Sit down,” I said to my exhausted wife. “I’ll be right back.”