Florence · Italy

In the footsteps of Galileo

The weather in Florence today was perfect, sunny with a maximum temperature of 22 Celsius. We started the day with coffee and croissants–a special spider cappuccino for me.

We’d planned a morning of wandering followed by a tour of the Duomo, but although we’d bought ‘skip the line’ tickets, when we saw the queue we were skipping, we decided to give the tour a miss. Our tickets would get us in without having to wait, but once inside, we’d be shoulder-to-shoulder with the hoi poloi, and we didn’t want the same experience we’d had at the Sistine Chapel. So, what else could we do but eat.

No, we didn’t eat the pig, just a light lunch followed by a hunt for the Vivoli ice cream store, which wasn’t hard to find.

The photo is deceiving, those are small cups containing coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavoured samples–the Italians certainly know how to make ice cream 🙂

A walk across the oldest bridge in the world with elliptical arches took us to the southern side of the Arno river where we conquered the steep climb up to Fort Belvedere, built for one of the Medicis in the late sixteenth century. Galileo made astronomical observations from the fort and one of the houses he lived in is on the hill leading up there.

This plaque commemorates Galileo’s observations of the Jovian moons, but I don’t think he made those particular discoveries in Florence.

The view of the city from the fort, the highest part of Florence, is spectacular whichever way you look.

The climb was worth the effort, and the decent through Galileo’s old stomping grounds was very pleasant.

There was even a Florentine Banksy to admire.

As usual, at this time of day we begin thinking about dinner. Last night we spotted a cosy little pizzeria with a wood-burning oven not too far from the B&B, so that’s where we’re planning to eat tonight–unless somewhere else takes our fancy on the way.

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