August 4: Florence

After a full buffet breakfast at the hotel it is out to visit the Baptistery, Duomo and Uffizi Gallery, both requiring multiple hours to view in entirety. The Duomo is open to the public at no charge, but one must still go through a checkpoint checking of backpacks and any other large bag. As with most of the museums, great care is taken to assure that the treasures within will not be damaged either intentionally or accidently.

The Baptistery is one of the oldest buildings in the city, constructed between 1059 and 1128 in the Florentine Romanesque style and sits at the front entrance of the Duomo on the Piazza del Duomo.

The Duomo,  Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, was begun in 1296 under the architect, Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with marble  in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, and until development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world. The building of Uffizi was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de' Medici so as to accommodate the offices of the Florentine magistrates, hence the name uffizi, "offices".

Over the years is also served as the main showcase of the works of art collected by the Medici family. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public.

Betsey Patiently Waiting to go into the Duomo


Single Hand Clock at Rear of Duomo

Stairs to the Top of the Dome

Dome View from Main Floor of Duomo

Front Alter

View of Duomo From Alter Area

Mosaic Floor in Crypt

Crypt Area Under the Duomo

Artifacts Beneath the Duomo Main Area

One Viewing Room in the Uffizi

Neptune in the Uffizi

Risotto with Bacon!!

Betsey At Lunch Stop! Getting Out of Hot Sun

Carousel in the Piazza della Repubblica