That's our hotel in Florence. Well, it wasn't actually *in* Florence, but it wasn't too far out in the suburbs. Some in the group didn't like it very much. Too "American," apparently. I thought it was a fine hotel. And the kids in the group liked it too, because it had a pool.
Speaking of the pool, the second night at the Sheraton I decided I was hot enough to take a dip myself. I didn't have a suit, so I wore a pair of shorts. Trouble is, I left my room key in my pocket, and I lost it in the pool. No problem -- the Globus tour kids came to the rescue. I offered a gelato to anyone who could find my key. Immediately there commenced lots of shouting and diving, and in about 90 seconds young Sam from New Zealand was holding the key over his head. Check the Bologna pictures to see Sam with his cool reward.
And thanks again to group member Anne for explaining to me how to roll my wet shorts in a towel and stomp on them until they were dry. It really worked!
On our first tour in Florence we went to the Galleria dell'Accademia to see Michelangelo's David. Those unfinished carvings are also by Michelangelo -- the Four Prisoners. I didn't hear the warning against photos, so I managed to snap a picture. The guards wagged their fingers at me, but I got what I wanted.
The guards didn't see me snap this one.
Guess there are narrow streets all over Italy.
The doors on that baptistry are so beautiful they're called the "Paradise Doors."
Another pretty church.
With more pretty doors.
It's all so very impressive.
Here's the inside of the dome of the Duomo of Florence.
The clock inside is one of the few mechanical 15th century clocks that still exist and work. It has only one hand, which moves, well, counterclockwise, telling time from sunset to sunset. The clock face was painted as a fresco by Paolo Uccello 1443. OK, I cheated and got that information off the Internet after I returned home.
No, it's not leaning.
I just can't hold the camera straight.
The cathedral is so big and the streets are so narrow that it's hard to get a good angle for a picture.
But we do the best we can.
Margia and I took a tour of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside, so I have little to show. But a quick search of the Internet turned up copies of a couple of paintings we really liked.
Like Botticelli's "Birth of Venus"
And Leonardo da Vinci's "Annunciation."
The lady in the hat was our local guide in Florence. She was British.
This is where Claudia had a delicious soup. Sort of minestrone vegetable with lots of bread mixed in. I had a taste, and it was excellent.
Margia and I ate pizza.
Botticelli's "Venus Reclining?"
This photo reminds me: Have you wondered why I keep using the word "strolling" in these web pages? It's a joke. One day on the bus, when Claudia was particularly tired of wandering down all the twisty little alleys in all the quaint little towns, Daniele suggested over the intercom that we might enjoy a nice stroll later that evening. Claudia, in her inimitable way, pointedly replied to Daniele, in a voice the entire bus could hear, that we hadn't "strolled" ONCE the entire trip, that we'd been on a FORCED MARCH, and she would NOT be walking ANYWHERE that evening! It was very funny.
Michelangelo's "David in a Green Shirt?"
This nice lady sold Sid some Italian leather purses for his daughters.
Here we are, waiting for the bus to take us to our Sheraton in the suburbs.