Monday 23rd, after lunch at our farmhouse we drove back into Florence and parked in George's excellent (free) parking spot of 20 years prior in Ortoarno near Porta San Niccolo and walked across the Arno into town.
Today we climbed Brunelleschi's dome.
scary, vertiginous views and a lovely sunset...
We watched the sun go down behind the hills and all the city lights come on.
Just as we entered the stairwell to descend the tiny stairs running over the top of the cupola, the city bells started to chime the hour...only 5pm.
We crossed the piazza in the dark to the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo which is the Museum housing the original statues on the facade of the building along with relics of the construction of the cathedral and traces it's story and architecture.
The strange Madonna with the glass eyes who used to sit above the entry to the church.
Michaelangelo's 'Pieta', intended for his own tomb
Models of the Cupola, the various proposals for the new facade, and the death mask of the architect.....
We then made the mistake of going to a restaurant; 'La Casalinga' recommended by our Tuscan guide book as excellent and devoid of tourists. Disaster. Had a very average meal surrounded by english speakers who had obviously read the same guide.
Got home very late, lesson learnt.