In 1982 UNESCO declared the entire centre of the city a World Heritage Site and it's easy to see why. Florence is amazing. Cobblestone streets wind through the city, small side streets branching off in all directions. A plethora of amazing buildings catch one's eye. The Ponte Vecchio spanning the Arno river. The Sante Croce which houses the tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Dante. The Accademia, home to Michelangelo's David. And towering above them all, the astonishing Duomo, designed by Brunelleschi. It is truly staggering. Luckily I had an excellent vantage point of the Duomo, as the picture from my hotel room (above) shows. Leaning out of the other window afforded a view of the actual dome itself but this was a better picture. Even so, wow!
Early one morning I took the long climb up the Duomo dome itself (some 500 or so steps) to enjoy a fantastic view of Florence and the surrounding Tuscan hills. Just beautiful. Walking through the streets of the city was incredible enough but to see it all from such a vantage point was fantastic. And such great weather for it too.
I didn't bother spending four hours in line to see Michelangelo's David but did enjoy seeing the replica in situ in the piazza where David originally stood. I visited the library of the Medici family where a great exhibition on fantastic animals (unicorns, sirens, etc.) in literature, etc., was held and bought and ate great food from the Florence food markets.
More photos and stories will come as I find the time, though I suspect a lot of that will happen once my trip is over. I'm in Barcelona now and tomorrow I head to Morocco. Who knew that being on holiday could be so much hard work. ;)