The American School of Milan was on winter break -- what European schools call white week -- this week, so we decided to take a little trip to Florence. It only was little in terms of length (we left Thursday morning and came home Saturday afternoon), though, as both the sights and expenses were huge.
I spent three weeks in Florence as part of my Study Abroad trip in 1993. I didn't remember a lot of details, though, so it was fun to see things again. We stayed in a hotel about a block from the Ponte Vecchio, which is the only one of Florence's bridges the Nazis didn't destroy as they retreated during World War II.
On Thursday we saw the Duomo (Kevin and Laura climbed to the top of the dome), Baptistery, Palazzo Vecchio and Uffizi. This is part of the interior of the dome:
On Friday we went to San Marco, the Accademia, the Duomo museum, the Campanile (Laura and I climbed to the top) and the Galileo museum.
I had to become a contortionist to get this shot of the Palazzo Vecchio from the interior of the Campanile:
Saturday we went to Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella. This is Michelangelo's tomb in Santa Croce:
Florence's big drawbacks in my mind are that most museums don't allow photos and everything -- including many of the churches -- charge admission fees. But there is a good range of hotels and restaurants, and the people-watching opportunities are immense. Even with everything we saw, there are at least two other days' worth of things left. I hope we make it back before our time here is up.