It was my last day in Florence so I began early by walking to the east side of town to visit the Basilica of Santa Croce, the world’s largest Franciscan church.
It holds the tombs of many notable Italians – this is Galileo’s tomb.
This statue is said to be the inspiration for the Statue of Liberty.
Michelangelo’s tomb. Also buried here are Ghiberti and Machiavelli, among others.
In the Refectory are more works of art such as Gaddi’s Tree of the Cross and the Last Supper.
The cloisters were tranquil. Here is Brunelleschi’s Pazzi Chapel – a famous Renaissance building that I still remember from my Art History book at school.
I left Santa Croce and walked across town to the Basilica of San Lorenzo, with the dome of the Medici Chapel in the background.
Then I visited the Santa Maria Novella.
In the late morning I took a bus to the hillside town of Fiesole. This is where Miss Honeychurch and Miss Bartlett join the others on a journey by horse and carriage to “see a view” in A Room with a View. No-one, however, became enamoured of me in a field of violets. In fact, I didn’t see any violets at all. Here you can see the thirteenth century bell tower of the Cathedral di San Romolo.
Here is the town square.
I walked up to the viewing terrace.
From there you look down into the valley, Florence’s Duomo clearly visible in the distance. It was a breathtaking scene – I will publish a panorama of it later.
I then continued uphill to the monastery of San Francesco.
I was all alone in this medieval chapel on a Tuscan hillside.
I continued my walk around the town. Here is a view north.
I stopped for lunch back in the town square.
Fiesole was originally an ancient Etruscan and then Roman settlement. The town has a large archaeological area featuring ruins of a Roman amphitheatre that can hold three thousand people.
There was also a temple.
And Roman baths. I got the four o’clock bus back to Florence.
On my return to Florence there was, for once, only a very short queue to enter the Duomo, so I went in.
It was quite impressive.
That evening I had a great dinner, though paying the bill was another story – but Supertourist prevailed against a waiter’s attempted scam!
The next morning I checked out of my hotel and caught a train back to Rome. There I got on the Leonardo Express train to the airport where I checked-in for my flights home. My flight from Rome to London was a much better one that I had before – a great dinner service and they certainly weren’t stingy on the wine!