Amazing Italy – Florence

It has been quite the journey so far, when we finally put our feet on the ground in Florence, it was indeed a great experience. When we boarded the bus in Pisa, we were told that it would take 2-3 hours to reach Florence, so we thought of having a quick nap during our travel. I was asleep in no time, and when I woke up, the bus was parked on a roadside. I just had a look outside the window, and I could see nice buildings around, with nice architecture. I asked the driver where we were (remember we were only 3 of us in the bus), the bus driver said we were already in Florence. We got off the bus in a hurry and looked around, we were near Piazza della stazionne, which is almost the center of Florence. Because we had plenty of day left, and had made it to Florence earlier than expected, we relaxed for a while at a nearby place. We had bought a tourist map of Florence in Pisa itself, we planned how we’ll spend our day and all.
We set off on foot, looking for the Cattedrale Santa Maria del Fiore, otherwise known as The Duomo. Along the way we saw many fine buildings and piazza’s in a quite remarkable city. This was Saturday and the place was absolutely jam packed with people, thousands and thousands of them, all shapes, sizes and nationalities.
The Duomo when we reached it, was an astonishing building with a walls of white and green marble. It makes you wonder how such magnificent structure was constructed hundreds of years ago. It is amazing and fascinating at the same time. The building is by no means small, you can’t photograph it properly, because it is surrounded by buildings and you can’t get far enough away to get a clear shot.

—-Cattedrale Santa Maria del Fiore, The Duomo————
We went inside – free entry – but with a big queue. Just infront of the Duomo, there’s the Ghiberty Door which are the east entrance to the Baptistry of Florence Cathedral (the Duomo).These doors are the masterpiece of the 15th century sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti.

—————–Ghiberti Doors, Florence—————————–
I felt my backpack a little heavy, I couldnt carry it along all day. We planned to dump our baggage in the hostel and walked towards our hostel. Believe it or not, our hotel was just  around 100 steps from the Duomo.
The Hostel in which we stayed was: Academy Hostel, Via Ricasoli, 9. It was a little expensive though 80 Euros for 2 beds. But it offered free Internet, common area for a TV, provided lockers, AC rooms, free towels, maps, free breakfast and a very polite n friendly staff too. And the location couldnt have been better. After relaxing for a while in the hostel, we had nice Pastas for lunch. 
As planned, after our lunch we headed towards Galleria dell’Accademia. The galleria has Michaelangelo’s unfinished sculptures "Slaves" and "Prisoners" and other paintings. But the main attraction of this museum is; it is the home of the ORIGINAL David sculpture by Michaelangelo.The statue of David is so amazing that I kept looking at the statue on and on, circling around the statue many times. I had seen David’s statue on TV and read about it in books. But you’ll have to see the statue by yourself to realize how amazing it is. This statue is carved from a single block of a huge marble(About 14 feet long) and it is so realistic that you can even see veins on David’s hand, hard to believe it was sculptured. We were not allowed to take photos of the statue. If someone asked me whats the one thing to see in Florence was, I’d definitely say the statue of David.
After spending some time at the galleria, we wandered around Florence. We came across the leather market. We then found our way to the river, walked along the riverside till a bridge with shops on it- The Ponte Vecchio, a very pretty bridge with lots of Goldsmith shops on it. We then came towards the Uffizi museum, since it was crowded and we were running short of time we skipped going in. We walked till Piazza della Signora, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Piazzasignoria.jpg] it is like an open area, an L typed square right in front of Uffizi . It is the meeting place of Florentines as well as the numerous tourists. Just the place we were looking for to relax.  We were exhausted by now, and grabbed Gelato (Italian mouth watering IceCreams).
After a while, we started off our leisurely stroll along the river in the direction of Piazzale Michelangelo. Along our way we saw Galileo’s Museum. Piazzale Michelangelo, was on a hill top making us more exhausted. But it was a worth after all, we could see the best view of the city from there.

—————-Amazing View of Florence—————————
It was 10 in the evening when we reached our hostel, we transferred all the pics from my Camera to the pen drive, browsed Internet for a while. We had to get up early in the morning and catch a 8:00 AM train to Rome. We slept off early with tired legs, but full of nice memorable memories.

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