Italy Part Four: Florence

And at last…the part of the trip I had been waiting for with bated breath.

Florence is home to my favorite cathedral, Santa Maria Del Fiore, aka, Duomo.  Brunelleschi, the fellow who designed the dome, was a genius. The cathedral, impressive in itself, was built and then left with a gaping hole in the roof for 100 years because no one could figure out how to build a dome that big. Until Brunelleschi in the 15th century. I could barely contain myself and act my age as we walked closer and closer to seeing it in person.

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We paid the fee and climbed up all 463 narrow slippery stone steps to the top of the dome to look out over the city. Incidentally, in the tiny stone circle of the top was the one place we were almost pickpocketed.  We met a nice couple from Cape Cod and stood chatting with them while a girl behind Ryan worked away at the buckles on his bag.  He felt the tug of the velcro and caught her just in time.  Geez…college kids these days…

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Ryan likes shopping more than I do, so he was very excited to stroll through Florence’s many markets in the shadows of famous churches. This is the San Lorenzo market.

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Inside Mercato Centrale

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Hiding from the rain inside one of the many art-filled niches.

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And explored the rest of Florence.

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We ate dinner at the restaurant recommended by the couple we met at the top of the Duomo, and then ran the mile back to the train station to catch the train back to our hotel.

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