29 – 30 June 2010
On we travelled to Florence, a major Renaissance art destination credited for much of the Renaissance movement. Our tour manager Ray described how many art works were commissioned back in the day by the powerful Medici family, including the famous David by Michelangelo.
During our first night in Florence we went to a Karaoke bar but I didn’t sing. The next day we had a full day in Florence which started out with a leather working demonstration at a leather shop. After the leather demonstration had ended and I’d extracted myself from the sales pitch (Yes it would appear Contiki do have other income streams) I had a brief walk around before we had a guided tour of the streets of Florence. We saw the Loggia della Signoria which features many famous Renaissance sculptures including a copy of Michelangelo’s David (where the original use to stand).
We saw the Duomo cathedral with its magnificent red, green and white marble facade made from materials imported from afar. The spectacular dome on the Duomo is the landmark of the Florence cityscape and is the dome that Michelangelo supposedly said he was following when he designed the famous dome for St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
I saw the Ponte Vecchio, the only bridge in Florence which escaped Nazi bombing during WWII.
I rubbed the boar’s bronze nose for good luck and admired street artists at work.
That night we had a busy schedule, we had a group photo (professionally taken) overlooking the city of Florence before making our way into town for our Tuscan dinner, later we made our way to Space. Regrettably the Tuscan dinner was very disappointing; the food was below sub-standard and the service slow. Space Electronic Discotek aka Space (a club) was quite fun although dominated by those on a Contiki tour.