Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Jul 10, 2011

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kerrie said she only wanted to see one thing in Florence on this visit - why then, do you ask did we need to stay 2 nights?

We arrived in Florence early afternoon and booked into our hotel on the outskirts of town. The plan was to leave the P.D at the hotel and to catch a bus into the city. Once we had freshened up Greg (or should I say Gregorio) decided that we would ride into the city after all - after riding in Athens he could ride anywhere. This was a great decision as there was very little traffic and we easily found a spot to park right beside the river - amongst the scooters of course. No matter which street we walked up there was a line of scooters. Some 'Smart' car owners also parked among the scooters.  

The city was busy - tourists everywhere as this was Cultural Week and entry to all the galleries and museums was free. Unfortunately for us we had not really planned on visiting any museums - just as well because the line at the Uffizzi Gallery was about 500m long. We did decide however to pay another visit to the Academia to see Michalengelo's 'David'. We had been there on our 2007 visit and Greg was 'blown away' by the fact that something so perfect could be chiseled out of one piece of marble. Photos are not allowed to be taken in the Academia so we cheated with this replica of David found in one of the many Florence Piazzas.

The Piazzas are always a hive of activity - people eating ice cream, resting on monuments, feeding horses, walking the beat, having morning tea or even laying eggs??? You can also usually find a WC when needed - this one took 'spending a penny' to a whole new level - 1 Euro is about $1.40.  .

 Off to the Duomo - the ONE place Kerrie wanted to visit. The queue was quite short when we arrived to visit the Dome but by the time we got to the ticket office (not free!) the line had extended around the edge of the Piazza. While waiting in line we met Jonathan and his new bride, Venus. They were from Singapore and were on their honeymoon. Jonathan had been to Europe 10 years ago but this was the first visit for Venus. We also chatted with a group of American students, who were studying in Ireland and visiting Florence for their spring break. They came from Arizona, New York, Massachusets and North Carolina - all states we had visited on our 2009 "Lanes Across America" trip.

We climbed the 363 steps to the top of the Dome of the Duomo. Signs on the walls requested that you do not write on the walls, unfortunately the stair well of this amazing structure was covered in Graffitti.   

We were rewarded for our climb with the most amazing views - really the only place in Florence to get a good picture of the city.  

Next was a visit to the cathedral itself. Another queue, but only for about 15 minutes. We are always amazed at the achievements of the builders of these monumental structures - how on earth did they do it?  Greg, ever the gentleman, held the door open for Kerrie to exit the Duomo after our visit, only to discover that he has yet another calling in life - Doorman to the Tourists!

Remember when we said that there was really only one place Kerrie wanted to visit in Florence? Well, that was besides the Ponte Vecchio of course! How could any red blooded woman NOT want to visit this famous bridge? Every shop along both sides of the bridge sells jewellery. As we do not have much spare (read ANY spare room) for souvenirs, Kerrie has decided that on these trips, the only thing she can buy for herself is - you guessed it - jewellery. While Greg rested on the bridge, Kerrie went in search of her treasure.

Another fantastic visit to one of our favourite cities!
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Nicky Mallyon on

This place is on my bucket list!! Ever since I did art history in year 12 I have wanted to see 'The David". As Greg has said it blew me away - and I've only seen it in pictures. Thanks for sharing your journey thus far - what a wonderful wonderful adventure.

Sandra on

Go Kerrie, bling it up baby!!!!

Christopher on

What no space already what about TT!!
Got my VIA so Dave should be happy $usd really good for me see you in a month

Stacey Schneider on

So the truth comes out, the real reason mum enjoys sitting on the back of a bike for 3+ months is because the only thing she can buy is jewellery!!! I'm learning.....

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