After breakfast in the hotel, David led us on a Renaissance walk of Florence.  We started  with the San Lorenzo Church and then around the Duomo, where he stopped to tell us about the baptistry doors by Ghiberti.

The next interesting stop was the Orsanmichele which had originally been a grain storehouse, but was rebuilt in the 14th century as a Gothic-Renaissance church. Then on to the Piazza della Signoria, where we admired the Palazzo Vecchio and the statuary in the square.

 From there some of us walked across the Ponte Vecchio to the church of San Spirito.

We met as a group at the Uffizi Museum to meet a local guide who led us through it.  This tour took us to see examples of Medieval works (such as Giotto's Madonna and Child), then Early Renaissance(Fra Lippo's Madonna), then Florence in the Early Renaissance(Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci), the High Renaissance(Raphael and Titian), and the Baroque(Tintoretto, Rubens, and Carveggio).  There were also other rooms with sculpture and works of other artists. One of the more famous paintings we saw was the "Birth of Venus" by Botticelli.

At this point the group separated for lunch and many then went to the Duomo, one of the largest cathedrals in the Christian world.  The exterior is covered with green, white, and red marble and is impressive.  The dome, by Brunelleschi, contributes to the elegance of the cathedral.  The interior is less imposing, but is interesting as well.  Some went into the Crypt of Santa Reparata, the only remaining part of a Romanesque basilica which was demolished when the present cathedral was built.


The tour members met before 5 for a walk to the Accademy Gallery to see the statue of David by Michaelangelo.  Also of interest were an impressive Pieta and his unfinished statues of the Four Slaves.


The next day, we had a morning of free time and some of us went to the Bargello Palace and Museum, which has four statues of David-two by Donatello, one by Verrochio, and an unfinished statue by Michaelangelo.  Also very interesting were the two small sculptures of Abraham and Isaac which were their entries in the competition for the baptistry doors.


We met at the hotel as a group for the walk to our bus and we drove a short distance to a spectacular hillside view of the city of Florence.


On to Pisa  and Vernazza.

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