Livorno, Italy - July 24, 2006

We arrive in Livorno, Italy. The birthplace of the Rennaissance.

Home of Florence and the Leaning Tower of Pisa!

Our first smart car!

We drive about an hour and a half from Livorno to our first stop...Florence!

The ancient walls of Florence.

Looking out over Florence.

Replica of David.

Crossing the Arno River going into "Old" Florence

New city street in Florence.

Mercedes and SWATCH are the makers of the SMART car.

Once we got off the bus we headed towards Santa Croce Church/Piazza.

At the Piazza we went into a leather shop and had a quick tour.

Florence is known for it's leather.

We now had two and a half hours on our own to tour Florence!

Santa Croce Church

It is now 9:30AM and 104 degrees in Florence. Hot!

We enter Palazzo Vecchio.

This square is full of statues and restaurants.

A replica of David. The original is in the Uffizi Gallery within this square.

Palazzo Vecchio dominates the Piazza.

The ceiling inside Palazzo Vecchio.

Palzzo Vecchio was completed in 1314. The Palace later became the seat of the City's Government and is today the City Hall.

Walking down Via del Calzaiuoli.

Mmmm...a quick stop for some gelato!

The Baptistry was built in the 11th century in romanesque style. It contains many mosaics dating from the 13th and 14th centuries.

It is famous for its three bronze gates designed by Ghiberti and referred to by Michelangelo as "The Gates of Paradise".

Directly across from the Baptistry is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

The line to enter the Cathedral wraps around the side of the building. A two to three hour wait!

The Cathedral was begun in 1296, built in gothic style, and took 140 years to complete.

It's the second largest Cathedral in the world and is capable of holding 3,000 people.

A smart car next to a "regular" car. Wow, what a difference!

The Bell Tower is a free standing tower adjacent to the Cathedral. It stands 292 feet high and dates from the 14th century.

It is said to be one of the most beautiful bell towers in the world, decorated in colored marble.

414 steps take you to the top for beautiful views of the city.

So, we make the climb! A little tight and VERY hot!

A view of the Palazzo della Signoria.

The Palazzo della Signoria in the distance.

On the far left is Santa Croce (where we started our adventure).

A shot of the Baptistry from up high.

This cupola part of the cathedral is larger than that of the Pantheon, St. Peter's in Rome and St. Paul's in London. Do you see the people?

More views from the Bell Tower.

We managed the long climb down from the Bell Tower for one last shot of the Cathedral.

Busy streets in Florence.

We are now walking towards the Arno River.

We reach the Arno!

This is a beautiful view from Ponte Vecchio.

We are standing on Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge remaining in Florence.

This bridge was used by the ruling family, the Medici's, to cross from their palace into the city.

The bridge is a pedestrian bridge.

It is now lined with goldsmiths' shops.

We are now following along the Arno River towards the Uffizi Gallery

A beautfil view of Ponte Vecchio.

The Uffizi Gallery is on either side of us. You can see the Piazza della Signoria straight ahead.It was once the offices of the Medici rule.

The Uffizi Gallery was once the offices of the Medici rule. Now it is a gallery that houses Italy's most importatn art collection. (Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, Raphael)

We are now on the bus headed towards Piza. Is there air conditioning anywhere in Europe!!

This is a new museum that is being built. Many people in Florence are not happy with it since it is so modern looking.

Wow, their bill boards are a little different than ours!

We have now arrived in Piza and are walking to the famous tower!

Beautiful flowers!

We have entered the walls of the old city.

The Cathedral was built in 1063 in a simple geometric design. The cavernous interior is supported by 68 columns and contains beautiful mosaics.

Look at the people up there!

The Baptistry was begun in 1152, but not completed until 1284.

The old walls of the city.

Shops line the street.

The Leaning Tower, located at Piazza del Duomo in the Compo dei Miracoli, was begun in 1172, however, having only completed three of the six stories planned, the building was abandoned due to the fact it was leaning.

The Tower was completed in the mid-14th century.

Standing 180 feet high, built of white marble, it now leans a total of 14 feet from the perpendicular and continues to move at the rate of 1/4" per year.

The main entrance to the city.

This is getting heavy!

What a cutie!

What bus number are we?

After a long hot day in Italy we had back to the bus.

Relaxing at the pool.



Created with the tool album a free tool by David Ljung on Mon Mar 19 18:00:43 2007