We filled our final day with tower climbs, legendary sculpture, and a grocery store meal that may have been our most memorable.

View from the dome View from the dome

The day started with an early climb of the Brunelleschi dome capping the Florence cathedral. Not an easy climb but a wonderful payoff, especially given the blue sky day we saw across the Florence skyline. The best view of Giotto’s Bell Tower is from the dome (and vice versa I suspect).

View from the bell tower View from the bell tower

A few hundred meters away from the Duomo you find the bell tower which we climbed next. My step tracker counted 65 flights of stairs climbed that day, a solid number but nowhere near the 200 or so Julie and I averaged in our two days of hiking in Cinque Terre.

We visited the rest of the key sites in the Duomo plaza, going inside the cathedral and baptistery. The highlight was the understated museum where they’ve moved many of the best works from the exterior (including the baptistery doors).

David David

After an afternoon nap for me and wandering for some of the others, we went to the scheduled Galleria dell’Accademia visit to see Michelangelo’s David. It is worth visiting in person, and the presence of other masterwork sculptures in the smallish museum help showcase just how good David is. Another highlight there are the incomplete Michelangelos that look like they are still trying to this day to escape from their marble prisons.

Our last supper Our last supper

Ask anyone who travels with me what I dislike the most about group travel: wandering around with a large group looking for a dinner spot. We had no booking for our final night and there was a bit of stress about what to do. The group rallied at a local Pam market and we made fixings for bruschetta, a charcuterie plate, and some tasty drinks and snacks. Toasting our trip and reminiscing helped make this one of our more memorable meals.

Our party of six is now a party of two. Next stop is Verona.