Today was spectacular. The views, structures and culture contiues to amaze us every day. We got off to an early start with breakfast in Montecotini Terme, where we have been staying the past two nights. Shortly after, we loaded up and headed to Florence. Our first stop, Piazzale Michelangelo,,showed us the city from afar and was a great preview to what we would be experiencing once we got into the center of Florence. Next, we visited Il Duomo, the Cathedral, Baptistery, and bell tower on our second stop. These buildings, constructed of marble are pieces of artwork. We have yet to see buildings this detailed and immaculate on our trip. We were able to walk through the cathedral where we saw gothic arches and a beautifully painted dome ceiling. After our tour, a few brave members of the group climbed the 487 steps to the top of the dome and a few others climbed another 400some steps of the bell tower to get a great view of Florence. Next on our tour, we were led to the main piazza where we saw many statues: a replica of The David, Hercules, Percius and Medusa, and several statues of prominent figures from Italy. Some included Michelangelo, Amerigo Vespucci, and Galileo. We were able to see three palaces where the famous Medici family lived. The Medici’s were a powerful banking family that ruled Florence in the 15th Century and were dukes of Tuscany. Next, we walked to Ponte Vecchio, a famous bridge with a spectacular view. There, you can find couples who have secured locks onto the fences and tossed the keys into the river to symbolize eternal love. Little do the realize, they could be find a couple hundred Euros if caught by the police. As our tour ended, we were able to explore on our own. Florence is known for its fine leather production and many of us got to work on our bargaining skills in the markets to get our leather items. If you ever need lessons in bargaining, Coach will have you covered. For most of us, our day in Florence ended at a well-known gelateria. It’s all been delicious thus far, but today’s gelato was a perfect end to our day in Florence. After walking all over the city, we headed off to play our second friendly match against a very talented Italian team. They gave us a great game, and ended up tying 4-4. We are at dinner now and it’s been quite a long day. I’m sure most of us are going to crash quickly tonight because we have to breakfast at 6am to get ready for our next European adnventure in MILAN!!!!!!
peace n’ blessins,
Excy, Kelsey and Caitlin