Sunday, October 01, 2006

Florence - Friday

We took a train to Florence today. This was a new and exciting experience for all of us! Our train left at 6:44am, so we had to get up and moving early and then had to figure out how train travel works in Europe. We made it on the train and enjoyed the trip quite a bit. We got to watch the sunrise while traveling through the Italian countryside.

After getting off the train we purchased day passes for all the city transportation. Then we hopped on a bus and went to the Piazzale Michelangelo. There is a great view of the city from here and we were able to get an overview and pick out all the sites we were going to attempt to see today.

Then we went to see the Santa Croce. We chose to just view this church from the outside.

While wandering around the area, we found a "pizza by the slice" shop with lots of locals inside. Steve decided this must be tasty and cheap! He was right. It was outstanding and very reasonable.

Next we paid to potty. Yes, you must pay to tinkle in Italy. This was around the time we agreed that anytime we saw a "free" potty everyone must try! I had to take a picture of my potty since it was what we have dubbed "a squatty potty" in our family. I actually like these since the only thing that touches the potty is the bottom of your shoes. They flush and everything. It seems much cleaner than sitting on the pottys at walmart in the states!

Next we headed over to a piazza that had lots of reproductions of famous artwork. Of course they had a copy of the famous David and many others.

Then we walked across the Ponte Vecchio. This is a famous bridge with shops all along it. It was the only bridge left standing after World War II. A couple from New York City made our picture for us and we made theirs.

We also toured inside the Santa Maria Del Fiore. This church is still active and very beautiful inside.

We had about 3 hours to burn before our 8pm train back to Venice so we rode around on a bus until we went to a late supper. I had the best lasagna that I have ever eaten! Steve enjoyed the other half instead of finishing his meal!

It was a late night. We walked back into our hotel room around 11:30pm but it was a fun day.