Florence, day 1

Long day today, walking a total of around 15 km around Florence, but we saw a lot.

We started with a late wake-up after a good night’s sleep to catch up on the sleep we didn’t get on the flight over. After a light breakfast, we walked to Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo. Apparently parts of the design were reused for the Vatican, and it is indeed very impressive, rising up above the rest of the city. The lineup to get in was very long and not moving very fast, if at all, so we decided not to go in. Instead, we headed to the nearby Palazzo Vecchio, which was easy to get into. It’s been used for many things over the years, such as a residence, civic center, and now a museum. Some amazing artwork, including one piece that was started by Leonardo da Vinci, and finished by others.

After the palace were we getting quite hungry, so headed across the river to Beppa Fioraia for a very filling, but delicious, lunch. From there we walked along some beautiful narrow roads to Giardino Bardini, a nearby garden. We were a bit out of season, so not much was in bloom, but it did afford some amazing views of the city. Our entry to the garden also gave us entry to Giardino di Boboli, so we headed there for a short bit before it closed.

We wandered around for a bit longer, taking a stroll along Ponte Vecchio, a bridge full of shops. It turns out they are all jewelry shops, apparently because a city chief was tired of the smell coming from the tanneries that were there before. It’s true that the jewelry didn’t smell. We were feeling pretty beat at this point, so walked back to our house, stopping for groceries on the way home. After a nice, light dinner, a few of us headed out for a gelato to finish off the day.

Note: I seem to have really messed up as far as being able to upload images, and it seems like it isn’t something I will be able to fix from here. So, unfortunately, I won’t be able to add any images until we are back.

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