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... the Dominican Quarter, just outside the city walls, while the Franciscans flanked the city on the opposite side of town in our old Santa Croce neighborhood. The monks here built a hospice, ran a pharmacy and provided a neighborhood clinic which still functions as an emergency room. The church itself (1456-1470), like so many other churches in the area, combines Romanesque, ...
This morning we climbed up the 463 steps to the top of the dome of the cathedral, where we could see spectacular views of Florence. The steps are quite steep in places and very narrow - I thought it was one way until we headed downwards, and we ran into loads of people climbing up! Half way up you come out of the stairwell right under the dome itself, making it much easier to see the beautiful paintings close up. The dome was designed and built ...
... and not see Michelangelo's famous masterpiece David! My first impression was that he was a lot bigger than I would have imagined. He was actually maaaahassive! Seriously big hands and big feet. He is certainly worth all the hype. He's a pretty impressive sculpture. We spent our last night in Florence enjoying the sunset over the Ponte Vecchio and eating the worlds biggest sandwiches, stuffed with delicious cheeses and meats and veges, and drinking wine by the river ...
... along the banks before climbing up to Piazza Michelangolo for the view. We took some photos, and then decided it was lunchtime, so we rolled down the hill and back across the river for a sandwich and gelato. By this time the queue for the Duomo was small, so in we went to check it out. It's an extremely spacious church, and despite the number of people walking around and chatting, it was oddly quiet. I wanted to go up to the tower and down into ...
... brought more comfy shoes.
We're hoping to have a ride in the hop on, hop off buses tomorrow and that should save my sore feet a bit!
Nearly tea time so will upload some photos and wander off, had a delicious meal last night at Trattoria ZaZa so much so that the Galloping Gourmet "GG" wants to go back there tonight.
By the way GGs blog is at http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog/w est_we_go/2/tpod.html
Nuff for now!