On Tuesday we decided, having walked close to 30 kms over 2 days, to have a rest day. It was also the start of the Jubilee – where the Pope opened the doors of the Vatican – this means 2 million people – good day to stay away from the crowds, watch survivor and stay in pjs all day.
Today, Wednesday, we caught an early train to Florence. It was an express train – leather seats, 250km/hr, very nice.
Florence was quiet, and very cultured – clean, sophisticated – very different from Rome.
Gothic churches – something out of a movie. Not a place we thought would be much – but very impressive. We left our bags in the train station lockers, which was very convenient for day visitors. We set off climbing a narrow steep staircase which had three separate levels for us to rest out weary legs. Gradually we completed 412 steps up to the top of the Giotto’s Bell Tower – which gave impressive views of the Duomo (domed church) and the Baptistry. It was a very impressive way to view the skyline of Florence. The bell tower itself is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Italy. This being our first experience at climbing a bell tower it was an amazing experience.
In Italy when drinking coffee you stand up and drink it at a bar and the volume of coffee is very tiny – a different experience. Saw our first Christmas market – was disappointing – seemed a little too commercial. But chips were great!
Streets were cobbled – and plenty to see around every corner. Kim twisted her ankle on a step she didn’t see.