Today was a whirlwind. We awoke early and had a quick breakfast before meeting with our local guide, Niccolo. We spent the first two hours of the day with him as he led us through the city and provided us with a detailed history of the city and the art in Florence. I truly love this place – the birthplace of the Renaissance. We took time to stop in the Duomo (the cathedral), which was built during the middle ages. However, Filippo Brunelleschi designed the dome in the 15th century. The interior was lavish and beautiful.
After the tour ended, we split from the A-town group and headed to the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo’s David. It was as impressive as I’d remembered. We spent about an hour at the gallery admiring the sculpture, and the other artwork housed there.
For lunch, the kids got pizza while we dined with Jesus and some of the A-town chaperones. We had pasta, caprese salads and roasted potatoes. The food was excellent! We met up with the kids at the hotel, and after a quick siesta, we climbed to the top of the Duomo’s dome together. 463 steps later, we were rewarded with beautiful panoramic views of the city below.
Our next stop was for Gelato! We figured after the hard work of climbing so many stairs, we deserved the reward. However, Jenn and Jessica apparently hadn’t had enough of climbing, so while we ate and walked, they climbed the bell tower. As we wandered through the city, we made our way to the Uffizi Gallery. The artwork there is housed in the old office buildings of the Medici family, the ruling class during the Renaissance period. We saw many famous works, including paintings by Botticelli, Raphael, Da Vinci, Durer, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio. The work was phenomenal, and once again, the kids patiently listened as we explained the artwork, and asked lots of great questions. They’ve been soaking up everything they can!
Our next stop was dinner – another great meal of pasta and chicken! Jenn, Corey, Sara, Liz, Kate and I took the long way home and wandered through the streets of Florence. We couldn’t help ourselves, and we stopped for another round of Gelato’s. It was Corey’s first, and I think Gelato has replaced Nutella as his new love.
Tomorrow we leave for Rome!