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Road Trip

Trip to Florence

Lawrence Kesteloot (Sunday, September 30, 2001)

We were in Florence Thursday night to Monday afternoon. It was warm and sunny even in late September. Florence was at the heart of the Italian Renaissance -- we went into a church in which Galileo (Jennifer's hero), Machiavelli, Dante, and Michelangelo are buried. The city's art gallery, the Uffizi, has some of the best-known pieces, such as Primavera by Botticelli. The old downtown is about eight blocks by eight blocks, and our hotel was in the middle of it.

Visible from just about anywhere is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore, mostly known for its giant dome and its tall bell tower. You can climb 463 steps to the top of the dome, which gives you a close-up view of the painting inside the dome, and especially of the bottom half of it, representing a gruesome version of Hell.

Ponte Vecchio (that's Sue!), the only bridge to survive World War II, is covered with jewlery stores. It leads to the Pitti Palace, which houses another art gallery. The galleries had beautiful ceilings, but unfortunately photography was completely prohibited. I think they used to only prohibit flash photography, but found that most people didn't know how to turn off their flash. Behind the Palace are the Boboli Gardens, from which you can look into the Florentine countryside. (You can also find some books tied to trees. We don't know what that's all about.)

The five of us had some great cheap food in the restaurants there. Mostly pasta and lots of wine. We seemed to have a lot of trouble getting the servers to bring the appetizers together and the pasta together until we realized, on our last day there, that pasta is an appetizer there. That also explains why it was so cheap. They must have thought we were strange to order only appetizers. For our last dinner we tried to do it the Italian way, ordering both a full dish of pasta and a main dish. It was delicious, and I don't know how everybody there is so thin.

More pictures: beautiful architecture, more beautiful architecture, lime plaster paint, the house of the Medici family, some cute kid in a parade, so many courtyards!, so many scooters!, a new house designed to blend in, leather heaven, frescoes, more frescoes, giant frescoes, keep the frescoes coming, frescoes from 1365 with colorful demons, the Baptistry, Jennifer and the Ponte Vecchio, and she lives there.

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