Well, I will say that Florence, or Firenze, as it's called in Italian, is an amazing city. Unfortunately, with our quick change of plans, we weren't able to get reservations into the two most famous museums, Galleria dell'Accademia--which houses Michelangelo's David--and the Ufizzi, which supposedly, while small, houses the world's greatest Renaissance collection, including multiple works of Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, et al.
However, we still saw the Duomo, which was worth the Renaissance walk we took. It was amazing, and I would almost say it had more grandeur than St. Peter's. I can only describe it as beautiful. And to wonder that Florence produced the Renaissance greats...what a generation.
We finished the walk at Ponte Vecchio, which is a bridge, but it's more like a city street with shops that just happens to go over the river. From there we wandered about...okay, I'll admit it. I was told that the best gelato was found at Ponte alla Carraia, but from Ponte Vecchio (ponte means bridge in Italian), I looked at the map upside-down (wasn't using Mr. Garmin, my first mistake) and noticed that Ponte alla Carraia was two bridges down. You see, a river isn't quite the best point of reference to orient a map. It's large, and most times you can't see the bends to compare it with a small map. So, I had the city map upside-down, like I said, and we walked to the second bridge...in the wrong direction. It also just happened that the second bridge that way was a LOT further than the bridge we were looking for. Needless to say, people weren't happy, and we settled for a panini and gelato closer to the Duomo.
We headed back and got the car, and made our humble little way to Venice, where we are staying tonight and tomorrow night. The plan is to stay here tonight, go and do Venice all day tomorrow, and then get up early and take off to Klagenfurt, Austria on Sunday.
Happy Birthday, America, and to all of you, enjoy the holidays and be safe!!!
ps - our Rome pictures have been updated to reflect our second day, the Coloseum and Palatino (with Roman Forum). Check them out here.