HOWEVER, on Saturday morning I found myself with a two open hours during which I dashed about Florence like a mad woman. Here are some pictures from my "tour":
The Duomo -- it's like nothing you've ever seen before. It's unfathomable to me that this incredible structure was completed in the 1400s. If you'd like to read about some of the politics, intrigue, and architectural genius behind the Duomo, check out the book Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King.
It's so much larger that you'd think --
The details on the buildings are remarkable -- look all those small sculptures!
The building is dramatic, even all sooty:
The beautiful Santa Croce is the Italian version of Westminster Abbey; all sorts of famous people are buried there, including Dante and Michelangelo. It's been undergoing renovations to restore the tremendous frescos in the interior.
Oh, and the stained glass windows....!!
Some of the tombs on the ground were delineated by some rather surprising elements.
And here's Michelangelo's final resting place:
I think Florence is a remarkable city and any time spent there is a treat. I feel blessed to have been able to go there, and to see my girlfriend and spend time with her family.