Thursday, July 21,2011
We began the day with a little breakfast (here that means some kind of roll and coffee) and then hit the road for Florence. When we arrived, we walked to one of the larger squares, the Piazza de la Signoria, and hunted down a little lunch - panini, followed by something Florence is famous for - gelato! Everyone agreed the gelato here is the best so far!
The Piazza de la Signoria is famous for it's many Renaissance statues, among them one of the two replicas of Michelangelo's David.
Although we're told the real thing is quite an experience (it's here in Florence in the Academia Museum) the copy was pretty impressive! We took a great walking tour that covered a few of the highlights of Florence, such as the famous Ponte Vecchio, the only bridge in Florence not destroyed in World War II. The bridge spans the Arno River.
We also saw several other piazzas, the famous Duomo, and the church. The cathedral and it's magnificent painted ceiling was pretty amazing!
In Florence, everywhere we go we see and feel the influence of the famous artists and others who helped start the Renaissance right here in Florence - Michelangelo, Giotto, Dante Allegheri, the Medici family, Leonardo da Vinci - just to name a few you may have heard of!
Later we went to see a leather making demonstration. Florence is also famous for it's fine leather goods. The students had the opportunity to buy some beautiful leather goods (I believe most of them did a little shopping).
Finally, we took the bus to a town on the outskirts of Florence called Montecatini to get to our hotel. Tomorrow is a free day in Florence for us, but we already have big plans!