Wednesday: Florence

Today we took the tram in to Florence so we wouldn’t have to worry about parking or traffic in the city. The tram station is just a 15-minute drive from where we are staying and the huge parking lot is free. It was a very good decision all around, since the city today was full of people, buses, cars, and general busyness. Plus, it was a great day to be walking about.

We first went to the Duomo Cathedral, and the outside of the huge building is almost as impressive as the inside. It’s beautiful, with light-colored marble that has survived the years well since it was built at the end of the 13th century.

We had been inside the cathedral and gone to the top about 15 years ago, so with the long line to enter (it is free) today we didn’t feel the need to go inside and not be able to get near the artwork. Still, it is quite a fantastic sight to see from the piazza.

We went to the Uffizi Gallery next and spent a few hours checking out their ancient masterpieces. Again, it was crowded but it is surely tons worse during the height of the tourist season.

We left there and walked along the Arno River where a lone sculler had the entire stretch of river to himself and he seemed to be happily moving along.

By then we were ready for some coffee and amazingly the cafe had sfogliatelle, more commonly known as lobster tails in the US (when you can find them). First we split just one, then of course got another one because they are so perfect.

photos: a sculler on the Arno River in Florence this afternoon; sfogliatellešŸ˜; the beautiful exterior of the Duomo Cathedral

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