Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Florence, Italy

Our next port was Livorno, Italy. We took a shuttle from the port into the main area of Livorno and from there caught a public bus to the train station. From there we bought train tickets to Florence and were on our way.
There are two main attractions in Florence, El Duomo and Michelangelo’s Statue of David. We decided to walk and see El Duomo first.
El Duomo is the third largest cathedral in the world.  The three marble buildings took over six centuries to complete the construction.
The dome was designed by architect Filippo Brunelleschi.  It was the first octagonal dome in history to be built without a wood supporting frame.
We bought tickets and waited in a long line to go up to the top of the dome.
This street performer entertained us while we waited in line for the 464 stair climb to the top.
This was a challenge for someone who is scared of heights and slightly claustrophobic! My heart was pounding a few minutes into it because I felt so trapped!  The stairs were steep and in small hallways with low ceilings. At some points the stairs turned to spiral staircases, long enough to make you dizzy.
The hallways were narrow and as we neared the top the people going up and the people going down crossed paths and had to squeeze by each other. There were two points where the path up took you in a circle around the inside of the church, right near the base of the domed ceiling.
This was a cool viewpoint of the inside of the church.
We made it up all 464 of the stairs and climbed out on top of the building.
There was a small circular area where we could walk around and see the city from above.
Once we made it all of the way back down, we decided against seeing the Statue of David since we were running out of time.
We decided we would rather see the Leaning Tower of Pisa so we went back to the train station and headed back to Livorno.

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