It was bright and sunny when we docked at Livorno, Italy on Monday morning but unfortunately it clouded over as we neared Florence. We were lucky all day with only a few raindrops.
It was an hour and a half bus ride from the port into the city of Florence and we took good use of the time to watch out the window at the passing Italian countryside. Carm was excited as it was his first time in his parents home country.
The buildings were somewhat like the ones in Provence, but a little bit browner and now lovely blue shutters. Every house seemed to have a large garden with a ramshackle hovel of sheds. Many had chickens and some even had some sheep. The landscape had low hills and was dotted with cypress trees. We even saw some hilltop villages with stone towers in the distance.
The traffic picked up and we were soon near the city centre of Florence where we were dropped off with our tour guide for a walking tour of the city centre.
We wound our way to the first attraction down narrow cobblestone roads. It’s funny, but I can’t remember which buildings we saw - there were so many that it became a blur. We came around a corner and my breath was taken away: Il Doumo. A large square fronted the building with its three different kinds of marbles. Statues graced the facade. It was truely impressive and the most memorable moment for me in Florence.
More buildings - churches, markets, palaces… my brain swirled with all the history. Another square and this time, in the distance, stood a boy with a slingshot. Yes, David. (a copy and unfortunately the museum with the original was closed). More statues were protected under a roof. Some looked like they might come to life at any moment.
We came to another square, this one with a church with the white, pink and green marble. We went inside this one. The graves of Michael Angelo, Da Vinci, and many others were inside.
The walking tour was over and we had free time for lunch and shopping. Lunch was good accompanied by a glass of local wine. After lunch we went on a quest for a SIM card for me (found one but plan was no good for roaming), then my eyes were drawn to the purses in the little shops and street booths. Florence is known for its leather products and since I am sick with the souvineer gene… I found a cute red purse that will be a daily reminder of this wonderful trip.
There was so much to see that I was overwhelmed with information and don’t recall much of what was seen. I’m left with not specifics, but with a general feeling for what life might have been like centuries ago.
I’m very frustrated that I can’t get my photos to upload at all. I may just post everything again when I get home.