Today, continuing our tour of Italy, we visited the historical city of Florence. Located in the Tuscany region (Italy has 20 such regions), Florence is widely known for its cultural and historical significance as the center of the Renaissance in the 15th century. When we arrived, we met with our tour guide who proceeded to show us some of the highlights of the beautiful city. We began by seeing the Duomo, a monolith of colored marble capped by Brunelleschi's famed dome. After seeing the cathedral from all sides, we continued our tour along the maze of streets. We ran into the influence of the Medici, Florence's most influential family, everywhere we turned, from the goldsmiths along the Ponte Vecchio to the commissioned sculptures in the squares, including a replica of the David.
The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring Florence on our own, with most of us headed to the huge San Lorenzo market. Known for leather goods, the market was stocked with purses, scarves, clothes and all kinds of trinkets. People picked up plenty of gifts, both for people back home and for themselves. Exploring the culture of such an important city through shopping seemed to work well for most people. With the backdrop of beautiful architecture and artwork to complement the day's activities, everyone had a great visit to Florence.
We ended the day with a late dinner back at our hotel where we celebrated Kristin's birthday with a special Italian dessert, a chorus of Happy Birthday and lots of kisses for Kristin from the ladies who worked in the restaurant and our tour guide Tiziana – apparently an Italian birthday tradition!
- Jordan Poole (Class of 2016)