Day 65: Florence

Today ended up being a much better day than yesterday.  I slept in until 11:30am and then went downstairs to sort out the internet and shower curtain issues.

I was greeted by a different receptionist, this time a guy who did speak English.  I explained the situation, telling him that I wouldn’t have booked this hotel if it didn’t have free wifi – not to mention the fact that I still didn’t have a shower curtain.  I asked him if he could do anything to compensate me, such as giving me a few free wi-fi cards, and he said I should talk to the manager who was coming in around 2:30pm.  I ended up purchasing a 24 hour access card from him for €7.50 in the meantime.

I left the hotel and after buying a cone of strawberry gelato for breakfast, I went inside a Leonardo da Vinci museum.  It was small and overpriced, but had neat models of his designs.  I would have posted pictures but you weren’t allowed to take any inside.

I then went back to the hotel, and surfed the internet for about thirty minutes until the manager arrived.  I explained to him my situation, and he told me that it was a problem with hotels.com.  He said that the hotel sent in a request two weeks ago to fix their description on their website, but hotels.com hasn’t changed it yet.  I again explained to him that I booked this hotel because I thought it had free wi-fi and if I knew it didn’t have free wi-fi, I probably would have stayed somewhere else. 

He told me he would contact the company that provides the internet, and asked me to come back tomorrow morning.  He also said that my shower curtain should be fixed by 4:00pm.

I went up to my room, and about five minutes later, I get a call from the manager of the hotel.  He tells me that he talked to the internet company, and that he would give me free internet cards for the remainder of my stay.  I return to the lobby and he refunds me the €7.50 I paid for the internet card, and gives me three new 24hr cards.  Everything has been worked out so far, except the shower curtain.

After talking with the manager, I decided to go back into town and visit the Florence Baptistery, an octagonal building used to baptize people.  It was neat to go inside, but no tripods were allowed so none of my pictures came out very well.  I did manage to set my camera directly on the ground and get a good picture of the mosaic ceiling which I’ll post as soon as I upload it.

I got two more orders of gelato, strawberry and coconut (my favorite so far).  The gelato is kind of expensive, €4 for a small waffle cone, but it is homemade and has real fruit (or coconut shavings) in it, so it’s worth it.  As I walked back to my hotel, I stopped by the Indian internet café I visited earlier and printed out some reservations I made for the Accademia Gallery and Uffizi Gallery, two of the most popular museums in Florence.  The Accademia houses Michelangelo’s David and the Uffizi is home to the most influential art from the Italian renaissance.  I’m going to the Accademia tomorrow morning at 8:15am and to the Uffizi at 8:15am on Thursday, my last day in Florence.  Even though I have reservations, I want to get there early and beat the crowds.

I got back to my hotel, but discovered that my shower curtain still wasn’t put in yet.  So I go back down to the lobby and tell the receptionist (the original one who only speaks Spanish and Italian).  He then makes a call on his iPhone (it seems like everyone has one in Italy) and tells me it will be five minutes.

I wait in the lobby and twenty minutes later, a woman arrives carrying a moped helmet and takes a shower curtain out of her purse.  I give her my key, and five minutes later, she returns it to me after putting in the shower curtain.  Not sure why they couldn’t have done that yesterday, but everything is fixed now so I’m happy.

After taking a shower and getting ready for bed, I happily falling asleep around 11:30pm.