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Published: September 29th 2007
After visiting Pisa, we drove to Florence, and arrived in the city at about lunch time. We checked into the hotel, and then headed out to get lunch and have our first look around the beautiful city.
Our hotel was very centrally located, very close to the Duomo cathedral - the dome on the cathedral was completed in 1436 and was the first dome erected in Europe (Duomo means The Dome). The inside of the famous dome was hand painted by Brunelleschi. The outside of the cathedral is made of white, pink and green marble (no part of it is painted), and there is also a baptistery and tower made of the same marble. The Duomo took 200 years in total to build and is a truly amazing piece of architecture.
In the early afternoon we had a quick tour of a leather works, and then headed off to the Galeria dell Academia museum to see Michelangelo’s ‘David’ (there are replicas of David in the city, but the original is held in the Academia). After waiting in line for an hour, we were able to see the impressive statue, along with a number of other works by Michelangelo such
as the four slaves.
We went to a pizzeria for dinner as a group, and then Brandt and I walked around the streets of Florence, which are even more beautiful at night than in daylight. We went for a coffee in a restaurant with a very, very rude and impatient waitress, who could not wait to see the back of us!
The next morning we went on a walking tour of the city, and learnt about the history of Florence and its famous landmarks and artists. After the tour finished we wandered around the various markets, and then spent the afternoon walking around the shopping area of Florence where we saw all the big names, and expensive price tags!
For dinner we went to a restaurant up in the Tuscan hills with most of our tour group, where we had a delicious (and very fancy) Italian meal as a group with live entertainment and excellent wine.
This morning we were back on the bus heading for Rome, but before leaving Tuscany we had a nice long lunch stop in the medieval village of San Gimignano where we had more good food and gelato, enjoying the views
over the Tuscan countryside.
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