After Monico, Florence Italy

Overnight we travelled to the sea port of Livorno, Italy.

When we looked down from our balcony in the morning, there were the tour buses waiting for us.  Now the ship carries about 3000 passengers, and a good number of them take these tours, including the 6 of us.  At some ports, I counted 40 buses waiting to take us on our tours.

Before we left for Florence I took a few pictures of the activity in the harbour city of Livorno.
We took a bus to Florence (about 1.5 hrs distance).  I took no photos from the bus.

Florence is a very picturesq city and I had got a lot of information from my friend Max before I left Hamilton.  That and what I got from the Internet, help to set my expectactions.

Our tour was called "Florence on your own".  The bus crossed the Arno River, let us off, and we walked a couple of short block to Piazza S. Croce.  This is the Piazza in front of the church S. Croce.

In this neighbourhood we were told about the leather craft shops. As a group, we did very well here, because Dennis got a great leather jacket and Brenda and Mom both got 'Grace Kelly' type purses.

We were inexperienced at walking around on our own, and thus we headed for some of the highlights that I had on my map that I printed out from the Internet.  That worked very well.  While we weren't great at identifying buildings, we did find the places we were trying get to.
We headed for a large Cathedral (Santa Maria Novella).  When we came near it, we could see it was large, but it definitely was in need of maintanence. There was a lot of scaffolding and it looked like it was a never ending job.
I turns out we had approached from the wrong view and when we got around to the front, there was a large crowd admiring the architecture.
I used the widest view the camera can be set to, to try to get an overview of the front of this church. I would have liked to include the bell tower to the right of the church as I was viewing it, but it was just too tall, and I couldn't get back far enough.  Besides, for the time of day, my position was such that the camera would have been blinded by shooting into the sun.
Hear is closer look at that center door.
As you walk the streets of Florence, there are many surprises. For instance, take this street corner which was like many.  Artistry is everywhere. As you will see in later photos, there are statues everywhere.
The streets that we saw in Florence are wide enough that they are nice and bright.  The buildings look well maintained, and we found that many restaurants are partially indoor, partially a sidewalk cafe.
There is a large open square with multiple large statues (Piazzo della Signoria).
The statue on the left in the right hand photo, is a replica of Michelangilos' statue of David.  The original has been moved to the Accademia.

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