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.