Stop the Second: Firenze/Florence. after a pleasant few hours that were my first ride on the Eurostar/Trenitalia, climbing through the Tuscan hills, we pulled into Florence's Santa Maria Novella station. making hay while the sun shone -and the sun did shine!- we dumped our bags in the hotel and went for a walk. i didn't like florence much at first -ah, i get lost in cities that don't have a grid-like map- but slowly she grew on me, until i was reluctant to leave. who wouldn't love a city that has a huge fresh food market in its heart (where we ate breakfast two days running!) and sells beautiful leather goods a heartbeat away from our hotel?
a closeup of part of the beautiful Duomo's exterior. i loved all that green and pink stone, and -like the rest of italy- the sculpture is beautiful. see the Baptism of Christ below? it's lovely. and we also went to the museum that holds many of the originals of the artwork in the Duomo, and saw the face of Michelangelo on one of his sculptures; and oh! the choir (loft, not the actual people) in the Duomo has Laudate Eum inscribed on them, with descriptive pictures! look!
more from me later -Siena, the Cinque Terre, and ROME to come...