Farewell Venice, Hello Florence
There is something a bit sad about saying goodbye to a place. You wonder if you saw enough and experienced enough. We all agree that we want to come back to Venice one day.
But we have a train to catch and Florence to see.
Our train was called the Silver Rocket, and rocket along it did.
It was even hotter in Florence, hard to believe because it has been hot everywhere. I think it sits in a valley. We saw beautiful trees, hills, rows and rows of grapes, terracotta roofs ... ah Tuscany, you are very beautiful.
Our apartment was close to the train station, thankfully. Carrying backpacks in 35-degree heat isn't the most fun we've ever had. If we could rewind we might change what we carried with us. For example, raincoats could have been swapped for an umbrella. But you live and learn, right?
We were greeted by our lovely host Paolo and his wife and daughter. They were so eager to look after us and show us everything. It was quite delightful. They had cold water in the fridge and a lovely bottle of red Tuscan wine. Dan opened this about 5 minutes after they left. He said, "It is the best red wine I've ever had". Only one small glass though, it was still barely lunch time.
Speaking of lunch our host had told us that the market was just behind the apartment and would have lots of food and things to purchase; cheese, fruit, veggies, meat ... anything we would need. And he was right. It was massive and had so many different types of things. We found a great bread place that sold bread and then delightful looking pastries, pizza type breads ... so many yummy things. We brought something to eat plus supplies for dinner. The only thing we couldn't find was milk. Luckily there are lots of little supermarkets.
We didn't have much time in Florence so we got going with our touristing. Heading the streets to find the Duomo, something that turned our not hard to find. In fact, you can see the Baptistry at the end of the street in this photo.
A photo for my football boys. I hope the session has finished well.
Duomo found! And it is massive and very highly decorated and full of tourists. The line for the cathedral looked hours long. We started by finding tickets. It turns out you have to book days in advance for some parts, like the Dome, and so we wouldn't be able to see it. Oh well, we could see the Baptistry, museum, cathedral and bell tower, so that would be enough. None of us really like climbing millions of stairs anyway.
It is named this because this is where people would get baptised and then be able to go to the cathedral after. It was built in constructed between 1059 and 1128 and is one of the oldest buildings in Florence. It was decorated by a few well-known artists. It isn't used much I don't think and is currently being renovated. But here are a few pictures of it.
We headed around the back of the Basilica.
It was pretty hot and standing in line for the Bell Tower didn't seem that appealing, but we figured that the Museum might be cold. We were right but we also discovered that it was one amazing museum filled with many beautiful things from the church.
The Paradise Doors - amazing!
Mary Magdeline by Donotello
Death mask of the architect who designed the Basilica
There were such beautiful things and carefully looked after pieces from the church. We felt very lucky to have seen them.
We headed home and had our dinner before a walk to Michelangelo Square to see the sunset over Florence. On our walk we found a bridge and some pretty views.
After walking up about a bajillion steps we made it to the top (along with half of the tourists in Florence) to watch the sun set. It was so red. Really different from our sun, which is weird I know because it is the same sun.
A Michaelangello David (but not THE David)
Gelato & Sorbetto (Sorbet) is the best way to finish an evening.
Home past the markets and business to bed.