Sunday, December 21, 2008


After our last day in Rome, we took the evening train to Florence (the fast train takes about an hour and 15 minutes). Since we got to town at dark and we dinner close to our b&b rather than the central part of Florence, I didn't get to see how amazing it was until Monday.

Since the museums were closed on Monday, we took the morning to relax and recharge after all of our running around. We slept in late, Crenna & Bud did some laundry and then we set off to see the Duomo.
The Duomo is so massive and grand, its very hard to take a picture of it. This is it from the outside. It is stunning from the outside, yet the inside is very modest in comparison. It was by far the most open and easy to explore church we visited.
I guess it is modest with one small exception. This painting on the ceiling of the dome of the last judgement, said to have inspired Dante's Inferno. It must have kept quite a few parishioners in line with its graphic (GRAPHIC) depictions of heaven and hell.
You can climb to the top of the dome for the best view of Florence. You climb along the side of the cathedral, then wind your way through the dome above to get to the top. The views were magnificent and climb was worth at least three days worth of squats!
This is me squashing the Uffizi gallery.
I loved the turquoise patina on this church.Making our way back down the dome. Bud is literally standing where the dome curves and you have to inch up on an angle.The view on the way down. Florence is very tightly packed, but I never felt claustrophobic or constricted.

After the Duomo we shopped the San Lorenzo markets. I wished I had taken a picture because the stalls are so bright and jam packed with scarves, clothes, leather goods, Statue of David boxers, hats, etc. Here are some photos from other visitors.

I picked up some scarves in one of the market stalls (its amazing how much attention two fair haired ladies with shopping on their mind get), but my favorite shop was on a side street between the Duomo and the market. Borgo is owned by an American woman originally born in Iowa. She's lived in Florence with her native husband for more than 30 years. She was so helpful and her shop had wonderful wines, vinegars and olive oils. I purchased olive oil that had been pressed within the week and balsamic vinegar that we are hoarding here at home.

Mi amore Firenze!

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