Saturday, November 19, 2016

Dames at Sea, Day Five: Florence

This was not a relaxing, lay around the pool, being waited on, kind of cruise.  Each day we were in a different port with tours of the amazing and diverse surrounding countryside.  Our first day of touring was to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance and the most populous city in Tuscany.  There crowds of tourists everywhere.  We escaped several times for a drink or a bite to eat to get a respite from them.  There is a reason there were so many people: Florence is glorious.  Statues, statues, statues everywhere, from the Fountain of Neptune to the iconic (King) David, of which there are two copies, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio and one overlooking the city.

I was enchanted by the Ponte Vecchio, which has such an interesting history.  Believed to have been built during Roman times, it is first mentioned in 996, destroyed by a flood and rebuilt in 1345.  The bridge housed and still houses shops and merchants.  During World War II it was the only bridge not destroyed by the Germans, allegedly by specific order of Adolf Hitler.

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