DATE: Saturday 15 July, 1995

PLACE: Florence



REMARKS: Breakfast in the Pensione. Off to the Uffizi Gallery, high on Desiree's list of 'must see's'. A long queue - 90 minutes worth, highlighted by a loud outburst several rows behind us in which another tourist spotted a pick-pocket and yelled at her to stop. Getting there was bit of a walk beside the River Arno, which is not impressive, although the buildings lining it are lovely. However, the Ponte Vecchio is: a classic medieval/Renaissance bridge with shops on it and houses 'stuck' to the outside of the structure.

The Gallery itself is disappointing. Well set out for viewing, but many rooms still closed after a bomb blast in May 1993. Only 1 or 2 da Vinci's, & one of those, while large, had a half-finished, sketch-like feel to it. Many of the paintings are on a grand scale, & deal with grand themes. However, the repetition of the same religious allegories is a surprise. Why the focus on, for example, the Adoration of the Magi? An interesting display would have been to put all the paintings (for example of the Annunciation) together in chronological order.

The girls were very taken by two paintings: one of Judith & Holofernes - she killing him with a sword through the throat; the other of David with the (blood-covered) head of Goliath. Very graphic!

Lunch was on top of the building - fine view of the Duomo and Campanile and the castle-like building alongside the Uffizi.

Wandering in the Piazza, we enter this same building and pause to admire & photograph a central fountain. I have Jayne in the push-chair. Questioned by a stranger, Desiree's hand-bag is lifted from the back of the stroller. All took less than 5 seconds!

Desiree even saw them talking to me & mentioned it to Sarah & Charlotte, while Jayne later says she saw a woman lifting the bag. They of course vanish, and we realise the bag is gone just minutes later. The bag has cards, some cash and spare car key. And we had survived Rome and Pompeii!

We hurry back to the hotel and call to cancel credit cards. Amex replacement is available Monday, while Visa not until we will be in Venice.

By the time the Carabinieri report is made (so we can claim insurance) it's after 1700, and our view of Italy and Florence has taken a real tumble.

Not one of the best days so far!






Uffizi Gallery

Ponte Vecchio


Judith & Holofernes

All the photos in one place!


Uffizi Gallery

Ponte Vecchio


Hotel Patrizia

Judith & Holofernes

Maps & Aerial Photos

Our thanks to all & sundry