Wednesday, March 28, 2007


After a 2 hour train ride from Rome and enjoying the beautiful countryside, I arrived in Florence (Firenza in Italian) and made my way to the hotel in the rain on foot. Upon exiting the train station I encountered a man looking like a carbon copy twin of Johnny Depp in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. I would have taken a picture but who really wants to be the guy who gets gutted by a pirate at a train station? ;-)

The hotel was one of the nicer ones that I stayed in with a Bed and Breakfast type of feel at a very reasonable rate. It had a nice view of the city from the top of the roof.

Florence is a neat town to just walk around and check out the sites. There are lots of art museums, cobblestone streets, a nice river walk, and loads of bridges over the river. Michelangelo's David sculpture is housed in a museum here and is fairly huge 17 feet tall. The example of craftsmanship is pretty amazing. One bridge is called Ponte Vecchio and houses numerous gold and silver jewelery shops. In World War II, the Germans preserved this historic bridge though they blew up the others when they retreated from the Allied advance.

One enormous church in Florence that I went inside was called Santa Maria della Carmine. I also saw Dante Alighieri's house of Divine Comedy fame as well as his home church.

There were several street painters doing chalk drawings. One that was fairly impressive was a copy of a Carravagio painting. I also enjoyed listening to the violinists throughout the city.

I think I preferred the food in Florence slightly more though it may have been due partially to the less crowded nature of Florence at night vs. Rome. More gelato was consumed in addition to a fabulous tasting calzone.

Florence Street Scene


Arno River

A Church in Florence

Dante's Church

Santa Maria della Carmine

Florence Town Hall

Florence Street

A Cafe in Florence

Via Maffia

Ponte Vechio from the river

Ponte Vecchio inside

Street Painter

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