Yesterday we went up just for the day to Florence. Florence is about 3 hours from Rome, and the scenery as you drive is really nice. We had a beautiful day for the trip, as you can see from these pictures. I'll be adding more info and pictures when we go back for a longer period of time. Until then, enjoy this sneak peak!
Here's a shot of the distinctive green and white striped Duomo of Florence.
Another shot of the bell tower and part of the facade.
Here we have the facade, and the great rose window.
And these are the doors to the baptistry, made of bronze, recently cleaned, and crafted by Ghiberti.
A close-up picture of the alternating bands of green, white, and red marble.
Next we walked down to Piazza della Signoria, the government offices of the Uffizi and Medici families.
This is a statue of Cosimo Medici in the Piazza.
We stopped for lunch at a Kebab place, which is kind of like an Italian/Turkish version of a gyro.
This is a picture of our friend Marco who lives in Florence. He met us for the day and showed us around.
We walked along the Lungarni to the Ponte Vecchio, the only bridge in Florence not destroyed by the Germans in WWII. In the foreground is the famous Arno river.
The Ponte Vecchio is famous for its shops selling every conceivable style of jewelry.
On the Ponte Vecchio, looking down the Arno.
Mmmmm, Florentine gelato!
This is a picture of Andrew standing next to this tiny three-wheeled electric car.
The bronze statue of the boar in Mercato Nuovo. It is said to bring you good luck if you rub its nose, hence the shiny gleam of its nose compared with the dull tarnish of the rest of its body.
This is the Mercato Nuovo, which sells many handmade leather items. Mom picked up a purse and wallet there. They have lovely leather bound books, journals, and other items, at considerably cheaper prices than you can find them for in Rome.
On the street they had two artists using pastels to recreate famous paintings on the road.
When mom and dad lived here 27 years ago, they used to go to this exact same bread store which is still open.
The last thing we saw at the end of the day was a policeman chasing away a bunch of street vendors. They ran away so fast they left behind their cardboard stands. We all look forward to returning to Florence and you can definitely expect a more indepth post when we do so. Until then, I hope this has whetted your appetite!