Another warm and sunny day, we left Rome at about 8am and headed for Florence. We had small stop on the way and arrived about 12pm where it was a warm 30 degrees.
First we wondered on our own to look around a get lunch. We found a market on the way. Our local tour guide picked us up and took us through the Academy of Fine Arts were we saw the original Michelangelo’s David. It was very big! Our tour guide was very good at explaining the way Michelangelo craved the figures from stone as a form of being released from water. For example if you were to lift a statue from the water laying down the knees, hands and head would come out first and apparently that’s how he made his sculptures. Other unfinished works from Michelangelo in the Academy showed this and has really made us appreciate how talented he was. There were also a number of paintings from assorted painters in each room, most dated from 1300 to 1600. It was amazing that there was no barriers, you could get as close as you wished.
After leaving the academy the tour guide took us through the streets of Florence to Giotto’s Bell tower (which was a huge building) and the Baptistery’s heavy bronze door, Gate of Paradise. We then went to Signoria Square where there were sculptures dating back to 1550, all available for everyone to see and touch.
From the square we had a couple of hours on our own, we walked the streets of Florence and eventually found the river. There was a very old bridge that had shops built on each side, once we crossed the bridge we found each shop was a jewellery shop with windows completely filled with all types of gold jewellery, they look quite impressive.
We then left Florence at about 6pm and headed to our hotel in Montecantini, the hotel is a beautiful old style hotel with a very luxurious old style lounge and foyer. We had dinner at the hotel then walked through the small country town, it has a really nice town centre. Sunday night and everything is open and everyone is out!