Today started off a little gloomy with my camera issues I mentioned earlier, but we pressed on anyway! We had breakfast. Again, a very typical Italian breakfast – croissant and jelly, some cornflakes, and some sort of juice for me. We boarded the bus a little later to take into account our late arrival last night back to the hotel from Pisa which was nice for a few more minutes of sleep.
This morning we had a guided tour provided by Palo. My friend Ruby really must have liked Palo as she was at the front of the pack the entire tour.
First we looked at a bridge which is a icon of Florence. This bridge was built in the 12th or 13th Century (I’ll have to look it up later for sure). It was the only one the German’s didn’t destroy in the 1940s.
We talked a lot about the three main periods of Florence’s growth and development. It began as a Roman colony. Many of the men were given land after service in the military. Most of the Roman part of the city is now underneath, but in one story they have a glass floor where you can see some of the foundations left from the Roman area.
We also talked about the Middle Ages and the Renaissance periods. The biggest shift was from buildings where you protect yourself to buildings in balance and for arts and fun. There is a good mix of both types of buildings left…obviously more of the Renaissance than the Middle Ages. The picture below is from the main cathedral in Florence. We saw little doors where you could stop in the Renaissance and get a beverage.
He talked about the Renaissance and how they tried to keep things in perfect proportion. They used two perfect male examples to demonstrate.
Following the tour, we went to a leather shop. Oh boy! I was going to be so good because I splurged at the glass factory, but…..well, let’s just say my new Italian leather satchel is absolutely beautiful and I’m sure it will last forever. Several friends did a lot of damage in that store! I found a few more gifts for family, too. Just need to find things for the little kids.
After the leather shop, some of us went to a wine tasting. We tried several whites and reds. All were ok, but none that I thought I had to have. They, of course, offered to ship it home and several of the people on our tour did just that. But, I opted to pass. I was still recovering from my leather purchase.
From there we had some free time. Lynnette and Rhonda wanted to find this shoe store they passed earlier and I wanted to find a camera battery. I was successful. They opted to pass on the shoes. So, now my camera is working! Yeah! Then we needed lunch, but with not much time left we opted for some more gelato! Yum!
We met up with the group and headed back to the hotel for a few minutes of rest. On our way, they took us up to the Michaelanglo’s Square where we got a breathtaking view of the entire city.
Our last meal was an optional event, but we thought it sounded like fun. It was a traditional Renaissance dinner with entertainment. The dinner was great and the entertainment even more fun. Dave and I were “volunteered” for a game. Dave won, but I’m sure somehow I should have won.
Anyway, the dinner was a lot of fun. Ending the day in the lobby writing this up before I head to bed. We’re leaving early in the morning as we have a long day…..bus ride to Assisi to see where St. Francis was from (This should be interesting as my Mom works at St. Francis in Mooresville) and then we head on to Rome and a lighted tour at night. We’ll be spending the rest of our time there. Amazing how the time is going so fast, but we’re having an amazing time.