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On Saturday I left the apartment in Rome and got a cab to Termini, the city’s main railway station. I could have taken the Metro but I didn’t fancy hauling my luggage up a load of stairs.

I took the Eurostar Italia (not to be confused with the London-Paris Eurostar) and it took about an hour and a half to get to Florence. My walk to the hotel was a fairly easy one – my hotel was central and there are fewer hills in Florence than Rome (well, on this side of the Arno River anyway, but that story is for another time).

I was entranced by the view from my room and half already posted about that.

It was mid afternoon by this point so I went for a walk. I started in the Piazza del Duomo. Above is the Florence Baptistery or Battistero di San Giovanni. Dante was baptised here as were the Medicis.

The Baptistry is famous for its bronze doors by Ghiberti.

They signaled the beginning of the Renaissance.

It was clear and sunny in Florence, though with a cool breeze so it was a chilly enough for a light jacket, though quite warm in the sun.

The front of the Duomo.

The Campanile, or Bell Tower to the right, the dome of the Duomo (that means dome) behind.

I walked down the main pedestrianised street called Via Calzaiuoli. Florence was fairly crowded but I am sure it was nothing like the high season.

I stopped in at the small church called Orsanmichele. It began its life as a granary and was then converted into a church.

In its exterior niches are sculptures by Donatello, Ghiberti and other famous Renaissance sculptors.

Inside it has a beautiful Gothic tabernacle.

I reached the Piazza della Signoria overlooked by the imposing town hall called the Palazzo Vecchio. The Palazzo was once the stronghold of the Medicis.

The entire piazza displays great sculptures, a sign of Florence’s wealth and position in the sixteenth century.

A copy of Michelangelo’s David.

The Fountain of Neptune.

A great open air museum.

I passed through the courtyard of the Ufizzi Gallery.

And came upon the River Arno and the famous bridge the Ponte Vecchio.

You wouldn’t know you were on a bridge when you walked along it.

I made my way back into the centre of town and stopped here.

A gelateria!

I was very happy with my choice – banana and chocolate!

I went out to dinner that evening at a local trattoria and then took a few night time shots.

I didn’t bring a tripod so this was the best I could do.

My long exposure shot of the Ponte Vecchio didn’t come out quite as I had hoped. It was a great day though!

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