Monday, February 21, 2011


Government holiday--three day weekend.  That means it's time for us to explore.  After some searching on the internet we decided to make reservations to spend the weekend in an apartment at an old Benedictine Monastery in Settignano.  It was set in the hills above Florence and had a beautiful view into the city. 

Some research in advance helped us plan what we wanted to see and where we wanted to go.  First stop, David.  He's really, really big.  Much bigger than the pictures suggest.  And he's marketed to the hilt--embarrassingly in many ways.  In the background (right behind Cory's head) is Fake David, which is a replica standing in front of Palazzo Vecchio, the place he orginally stood before being moved out of the elements where he was taking a beating.

We also went to a small museum which advertised large wooden models of some of Da Vinci's ideas and drawings.  Many of them were hands-on for the kids, which was a lot of fun.  Cory was especially impressed by the weapons!  A tank, a machine gun, a cannon...he loved them all! 
early cannon

early tank design
Once in Florence you cannot miss the Duomo.  You can't miss it because it's ENORMOUS!  Bigger than David.  We saw the dome, an engineering feat at the time of its construction, from the Da Vinci museum, so we knew we were walking the right way.
It was a stunning church. 

The Medici family wanted it to be the largest cathedral--and from the view from our hotel in Settignano at sunset, you can see it towering above the rest of the city.
I've only gotten us through lunch on the first day!  And there is so much more to share...stay tuned.

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