August 2: Florence

An early morning "bullet" train from Verona to Florence arrived in the city giving way to a whole day of sightseeing available. A quick check-in at the hotel and off on foot to explore the wonders of the "cradle of the Renaissance". Florence is famous for its monuments, churches and many buildings. The Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore, with its amazing dome built by Filippo Brunelleschi dominates the center of the old part of town. Just south is the Piazza della Signoria where the Palazzo Vecchio stands at attention with its bell tower. The Ponto Vecchio still serves as a bridge as well as a street of shops. Florence is home to a wonder of sights, all from many, many years ago. Anyone with an interest in the arts will find Florence a true home!

First on the agenda is to buy the Firenze Card. A full day of sightseeing with the Firenze Card in hand gives one priority in line at the museums as well as prepaid admissions. The card is well worth the investment if one wants to explore many sights without the hassle of standing in line for hours in the hot sun!

Palazzo Vecchio and Bell Tower in the Piazza della Signoria

Outside our Hotel

First things first! Breakfast -- a chocolate croissant and a cappuccino!1

Bartolomeo Ammanati's Fountain of Neptune (1563–1565), which is a masterpiece of marble sculpture at the terminus of a still functioning Roman aqueduct.


A replica of Michelangelo's David (placed here in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in 1873 when the original was moved to the  Galleria dell'Accademia)

Betsey's Favorite Thing -- Steps!! On the Way Up Into the Bell Tower of the Palazzo Vecchio

More Stairs!

View from the Top of the Palazzo, but not the Tower!

Another View

Betsey: "You Got to Be Kidding Me! There are More Stairs!!"

We Made It!!

The Uffizi Gallery courtyard, one of the finest art museums in the world – founded on a large bequest from the last member of the Medici family.

Statues of the Men of the Times -- Here Donatello


Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), whose most striking feature is the multitude of shops built upon its edges, held up by stilts. It is the only bridge in the city to have survived World War II intact.

The Front of the Duomo

Michelangelo's Famous David 

Afternoon Delight

Betsey Loves Florence!