We arrived in florence early evening and took a quick walk around as the sun set, before settling in at our hotel near porto prato and eating Italian pizza. Our daily walk into town would be through this gate from the old city wall built in the 1200s. It was covered in tarps for renovation, so here's an internet picture:
From the outside, the duomo of Florence is perhaps one of the most impressive buildings anywhere:
Inside, the church isn't particularly noteworthy, although the paintings in the dome itself depict a rather entertaining hell (surmounted by a rather boring heaven). Is that a dragon with 3 faces devouring 3 guys at once? And how many people peeling off their own skin are there in hell? Monica's found something equally horrifying..
I'm not sure why the Vatican can get away with no plexiglass but Florence needs it
From the top of the dome, Monica with Santa Croce in the background and some towers on the right Me in front of some wonderful green hills, and yes, another tower (although, honestly, I was expecting more towers - Assassin's Creed, you let me down)
Lunch in a cafe in front of Santa Croce. Yes, restaurants are more expensive when they're in close proximity to a tourist site, but it turns out it's hard to find a restaurant that isn't near a tourist site. Yes, that big star is Jewish. Apparently, the catholics at the time didn't have any issue with the jewish architect adding it to their church.
It turns out the wine in Florence is really good and Monica thought shared bottles were a race.
Oh Hai, I see U R slow drinker. Let me help yur wine.
We found most table wine in Florence is better than most $50 wine in Napa tasting rooms. Solidifying my belief that paying more than $15 for wine is akin to burning money - a display of either arrogance or poor judgement (or maybe both).