I met my friend Anne at our beautifully restored hotel “Palazzo Gaddi” which was originally 2 villas combined into one. The building dates back to the 1500s. It was a short walk from the train station and just a 25 minute cab ride from the airport. We totally recommend this hotel.

One of the first places we had to check out was the rooftop bar. Below was our view.

Rooftop bar view

We went on a full day tour which included a visit to see Michalengelo’s “David” which is located in the Accademia. Although Michalengelo was known for extremely accurate depiction of the human body, he purposely gave David a very large right hand – and in my opinion, short-changed him in other places 🙂

David – Symbol of Renaissance optimism

We also visited the Uffizi Gallery which is home to a brilliant collection of renaissance art from Italy’s most famous artists.

“The Adoration of the Magi”. Leonardo da Vinci’s unfinished work
The Duomo – built in the 13th century
Ponte Vecchio – close up

The following day our main goal was to visit the most popular spot for taking pictures of the city and one of the most famous bridges in the world – Ponte Vecchio.

Piazzale Michelangiole is located on one of the largest hills on the other side of the river and is best known for the views of the city at sunset. There is also a quaint little Basilica called San Miniato which is home to monks who hold a prayer service of Gregorian chants each evening. Anne and I stayed for the beautiful mass.

Basilica San Miniato
Inside the church – notice the “stairway” to heaven (ladder)
Anne on the grounds of the church

The views were more than we asked for. Sorry for so much repetition of these views but I had a hard time choosing . . .

Florence is an incredible, clean city with friendly people and good food and wine – although we actually had one bottle of wine we didn’t like.

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