(Firenze) is one of Italy's most atmospheric and pleasant cities,
retaining a strong resemblance to the small late-medieval center
that contributed so much to the cultural and political development
of Europe. The glory of Florence is rooted in its past. The
Medicis commanded the city's fortunes for centuries and, as
patrons, they encouraged the Renaissance's influence on the
We arrived around lunchtime and walked directly to our hotel.
After unpacking, we spent the afternoon visiting the Cathedral
San Lorenzo, the Duomo; then walking across the Ponte Vecchio
toward the Palazzo Pitti. As we did not make advance reservations
for the Uffizi, the museum will have to wait until our next
On the way back, we stopped for gelato near the bridge, then
again for a couple more scoops in a little side street. By
now we had become gelato experts and we both agreed the gelato
from the side street store was much tastier!