Sheila and I started the day slowly by meeting two other of the women in our group (Elaine and Marion) for breakfast here at the B&B. Then the two of us took the #22 bus which stops right outside the B&B into Florence Centrale.
The bus was packed; they weren’t all tourists, many would have been locals heading to somewhere through the city center, which is where we got off – across the street from the main train station.
We mosyed through pedestrian filled narrow streets as we headed toward the Duomo.
We stopped at a couple of market stalls near the Station, one with leather goods, didn’t buy anything in spite of some haggling on a leather wallet, but neither of us could resist the rainbow colored shawl/scarves which called out to us (it had nothing to do with the young persuasive women selling them).
Heading down one of the main streets from the station you can see the Duomo in the distance. Crowds lined up everywhere to get in to view the art and architecture. Since we’d not bought tickets in advance we simply walked slowly around the outside of the buildings – something I hadn’t known was the bell tower is a separate building. Plenty to stop and look at on the outside – the main door to the Cathedral building is spectacular! The whole exterior of the buildings is replete with statues and other decorative sculpture. I can only imagine the interior from photos I’ve seen.
We walked past many small shops, clothing, footwear, handbags (all expensive due to their proximity to the Cathedral). we decided to stroll further from the church to find a street cafe serving lunch. We shared a salad and sandwich which was more than enough to eat.
One shop caught my eye – a small hole-in-the-wall filled with beautifully crafted paper/wood objects – and the artisan creating them.
The latest fashion accessory, to judge by the number of shops with many on display, is a very fancy bejeweled bra (and panties to go with them). They’re meant to be shown off. (I can’t see me wearing one, however).
The weather was a sunny 27 – compared to just around 10 at home in Halifax. Lovely for walking slowly and taking in the crowds and sights.
Late in the afternoon we picked up the #22 bus where we had got off and took the scenic route back to where we had embarked in the morning – right outside the hotel.
We’re planning on hooking up for dinner with Elaine and Marion shortly and then we’ll call it a day.