Our day in Firenze

We arrived in Florence mid-morning in view of a misty Arno River and walked around past the imposing facade of the Pitti Palace and followed the Vasari corridor across the Ponte Vecchio before stopping to visit the Palazzo Davanzati. We stopped briefly for shopping and gelato at the Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, making sure to rub the nose of Il Porcellino (the bronze boar statue) to ensure another trip to Florence in the future before a picnic lunch in the cool courtyard of the Palazzo Strozzi. Our guide Vincenzo met us there and led us on a walking tour, giving an overview of Florentine history and architecture. Florence wasn’t as crowded as it can be and we got right up close to the Baptistry doors! Vincenzo took us to the Accademia as well to see Michelangelo’s Prisoners and David. The musical instrument collection there was also much admired. Returning students who saw the David last year explored the monastery of San Marco with Katie, admiring the design of the building and pondering Fra Angelico’s riddles frescoed onto the walls of the cells as well as learning about the dramatic life of Savonarola. More gelato and souvenir purchases were made around the square of San Lorenzo followed by a tour of the Palazzo Vecchio and a climb up the tower. Dinner and an evening stroll before heading back to countryside happy and tired.

Admiring beautiful view of the Arno River and the Ponte Vecchio from the Ponte Santa Trinita.

Admiring beautiful view of the Arno River and the Ponte Vecchio from the Ponte Santa Trinita.

Palazzo Vecchio's Salone dei Cinquecentro

Palazzo Vecchio tour included a surprise  detour through a secret passageway!

Palazzo Vecchio's Salone dei Cinquecentro

Palazzo Vecchio’s Salone dei Cinquecentro

Visited the Palazzo Davanzati.

Palazzo Davanzati –  beautiful furnished and rooms exquisitely frescoed in the 13th c.

Imagining life in a tower house.

Imagining life in a tower house.

DSC_0117

Firenze's duomo never fails to impress.

Firenze’s duomo never fails to impress.

Our guide Vincenzo explained the politics behind the art.

Our guide Vincenzo explained the politics behind the art.

Approaching Michelangelo's David by way of the Prisoners.

Approaching Michelangelo’s David by way of the Prisoners.

DSC_0159

Climbing the Palazzo Vecchio's recently re-opened tower.

Climbing the Palazzo Vecchio’s recently re-opened tower…

DSC_0213

for amazing views and a refreshing breeze.

DSC_0191

for magnificent views and a refreshing breeze!

DSC_0240

Ending with a satisfying dinner at Trattoria Zio Gigi and a walk past Santa Croce and the imposing statue of Dante and along the river.