Finally, I have a chance to update on the same day! We arrived in Florence this afternoon.
We decided to tackle one of the great museums here and what better work to begin with than Michelangelo's David at the Galleria dell'Accademia? The line wasn't too long and the museum is full of beautiful and interesting large religious paintings and triptychs. I turned the corner after the first room and way down the hallway was the magnificent David. We all gasped. The statue is enormous. I had expected a person-size figure but he towers over the room. This is one case where something is even better in person...and I think this will be a theme for Florence as you'll see.
Exiting the museum, we saw a little peek of a dome down the street. When we arrived at the Duomo, one of the famous landmarks of Florence, it was instantly one of my favorite buildings I have seen this entire trip. It's also known as the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. The dome part is pretty, and recognizable, but the front of the building is to me the most beautiful.
The entire building is off-white, light pink and a muted forest green. It was ornate and just stunning. It was so big I couldn't get a good picture of the whole front at all. But the sky was bright blue so it was even prettier.
I should be honest here. Something is wrong with my toe and I have been limping pathetically all day. I'm a little worried that I may not be able to hike at Cinque Terre on Sunday because it has been hurting like crazy for the last two days!
Anyways, we ate at a Rick Steves recommended place that Caroline suggested...we called it the Luby's of Florence, only way more delicious and cheaper. We feasted like queens and had salad, pasta, and fruit (which I have been missing)! Afterward, gelato. (What else?) I finally tried pistacchio which I have been meaning to do- it was good, a little less sweet than other flavors. After that we checked out the Duomo and then have been wandering and exploring. Tomorrow is an afternoon picnic at Pisa and then Uffizi art museum! Can't wait.