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Florence - Part 2

After the Duomo, we saw the Baptistry, which was the original church until the Duomo was completed and was dedicated to St. John the Baptist. We then headed to a square filled with statues and broke for a 2 hour block of free time. Many enjoyed lunch and even more enjoyed the shopping in the fine stores and the marketplaces.

Upon regrouping we went to the Uffitzi Gallery. A highlight for anyone coming to Florence. We began in the ancient rooms with Alessandra "whispering" to us all the important facts and Allyson answering all of our questions.

We proceeded to the Botticelli room which houses "The Birth of Venus" and "Springtime", among others. We saw the only completed painting by da Vinci in Florence today as well as the only one of Michealangelo's in Florence as well.

The Raphael room was also a highlight, with the "Portrait of Pope Leo X" and how he was able to blend colors to create 3 shades of red to highlight fabrics and how this piece highlights his skill. We saw painting after painting and statue after statue - almost like artwork overload! It is hard to take it all in when you leave one of the most widely known pieces of art; only to turn the corner and see another one or two in the next room! Astounding and once in a lifetime!

We then had more free time and some returned to the Duomo to climb to the top of the dome and see some spectacular views of the city. It was less of a climb than it was for the group in Rome who climbed to the top of St. Peter's but it was still pretty high!

Most of us returned to the hotel via the bus with Karin but others stayed downtown to enjoyed the city more. Just before returning home after a nice dinner (restaurants don't even open for dinner until 7pm) a small group heard an opera singer on a street corner and enjoyed some time at JJ Cathedral - what turned out to be a hotspot for local students

Tomorrow we are off to Venice (wake up call at 5:45 and leave the hotel at 6:45AM) but it is sure to be great!

Everyone here says hello to family and friends!


Carla Lochiatto said…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANGELA!!! Hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration in Italy. Can't imagine a better place to spend a birthday... :)

Love, Carla
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