Florence, Italy

Thursday, September 15, 2011:

We leave Rome and head north to Florence (“Firenze”) but we here that Florence will be 90 degrees or more.  Elzo tells us the nickname Florence the “oven”.  I’m not excited to find out why but I am excited to go shopping.  Florence is known for leather, like Venice is known for glass.  I don’t necessarily want some leather, but I need to finish my souvenir shopping in Italy since we’ve had no time for any of that since being in Italy.

Florence is much more quiet than Rome but filled with history about the Medici family.  Think money and banking.  They were a very prosperous family.  I did eventually buy a bag, because the leather is so soft.  Walking the streets of Florence was much more relaxing than walking around Rome.  There was time to soak in the ambience of Florence.  But this is a city I do need to come back to…

Basilica of Santa Croce, Galileo Galilei is buried here!  

A statue of Dante Aligheri, an empty tomb is at the Santa Croce

Streets of Florence

We met up with our local guide at the Accademia Gallery, her name is Lucia (Lucchia).  She guides us through the museum and there in all his glory is David.  Michaelangelo’s masterpiece (and he made a few copies) is as gorgeous as people claim.

After our view of David we leave the museum and continue walking through Florence.  It is a hot day and I am wearing my hat from Venice, good thing.  It keeps me somewhat cool.

Santa Maria del Fiore

We didn’t get to go into Santa Maria del Fiore, the long was very long and we didn’t have time.  But we admired it from the outside.  I was standing very close to our guide because when she talked she liked eye contact and I saw her raise her arm and saw that it was true, european girls did let their underarm hair grow out.  Haha…it wasn’t totally fuzzy…

The Gates of Paradise (not the original)

Beyond the arch is the old Jewish neighborhood

 We walked towards the Piazza della Signoria, a lovely walk in the shade and a shop lined street.  I could spend some time here shopping, but we have no time.  Bummer…

Piazza della Signoria

Here is the copy of David, check out his abs!  Michaelangelo dissected bodies, to study muscle structure.

love this bronze statue of Perseus 

Leonardo Da Vinci is said to have worked on the Mona Lisa in these apartments 

To cool off I got a Lemon Granita

Whew, our bus driver Eddy said it was 98 degrees out but Elzo says he’s exaggerating.  It felt hotter in Rome to me, but in Florence we found shade more, so it could have been that hot.  And that’s all we saw of Florence.

You know, once upon a time I asked my mother if I could study abroad in Florence.  A friend of mine was going to study art and I wanted to do so as well because I loved art.  Her answer was No.  I’m thinking my mother knew that if I went, I’d never come back to Hawaii.  LOL…we leave Florence to go to our hotel in Montecatini a very cute town in Tuscany.

do you love this bathtub? lol… 
the 2 pound key!

Our journey is almost at an end and tomorrow we will be in Nice, France….what a journey it has been!

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