We began our trip Wednesday night at 6:00 and arrived in Florence at 8:00 the following morning. People who have traveled long distances with me know how well I sleep on trains and buses, i.e. hardly at all, and so while I enjoyed Florence, I was also stupid with exhaustion. Oh well...
Early Morning View. The girl in the foreground was also named Marie, and she and I and Jason (the exchange student living with the Miloschewsky's) hung out for much of the trip.
We began by admiring this church.
In Florence, there were many statues by famous people just hanging around in every square, which is pretty cool. (I'm sorry, I'm not sure how to turn the picture around...just tilt your head to one side to get the appropriate angle) This is one of a series of eight or ten we saw on the way to see...
And the...baptismarium (sp?)...across the street. It is the oldest building in Florence, first century I think, pretty much unremarkable except for the door, which is scenes from the bible beaten into, I think, copper. I tagged along with a Japanese tour group to listen about it :) and learned the Japanese word for baptism (senrei).
Next we went to the Medici family private library/chapel, although we didn't have enough time to go inside. I tagged along of an American art history class trip group to learn that there was a big competition to design the facade of the building, which Michelangelo won. However, because of the political situation, the facade was never built. The front of the building is rough like this because it is supposed to be supporting a facade.
While I was absorbed in taking this picture, a mime tapped me on the shoulder and scared the living daylights out of me. He motioned for me to put some money into his hat; I rummaged dramatically in my pocket to produce...a button. He didn't want it, but everyone had a good laugh.
Next we went to "the prettiest square in Italy." I'm not sure about that; there were these houses on one side, however, which were very pretty.
I really liked all the flowers in the windows all over the city.
To finish off the day we visited this bridge.
These were once houses, and then regular shops (butchers, etc.), but people complained because of the smell. These days it is all tourist shops.
There are more pictures of Florence, but some of them didn't upload properly, so I will add them tomorrow. Here is one last picture of the beautiful city.