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5/22 Sat – We returned the rental car to Florence today.

It was market day and the market was in front of Hertz.

It took us 45 minutes to wind through centro Florence and its

mass of weird one-way streets to get to the Hertz garage.

When you drive across a Piazza, cars just attack from every angle.

We finally had to drive a little illegally, in order to get to the garage.

The woman in front of us in line at the Hertz counter was asked for her check-in papers

from the garage, and she gave them a parking stub. The man behind the counter said,

“What’s this?” She said there was no way to get to the Hertz garage,

and this is the claim ticket for the garage where she parked the car!

Next, Judith decided to walk to the B&B instead of taking a taxi. It was only a few miles!

Another hour later, we climbed the 78 steps up to the B&B with our suitcases and backpacks.

         

Another hour later, we climbed the 78 steps up to the B&B with our suitcases and backpacks.

The terrace on top had a great view.  We enjoyed a glass of wine there,

and watched the Giro D’Italia. It was a very exciting mountain stage. 

Later, we found a nice restaurant (recommended by the B&B).

Judith had the house special of the day – Asparagus Risotto.

                   

Florence's cathedral stands tall over the city. The church of Santa Maria del Fiore,

the cathedral or duomo, of Florence is a vast Gothic structure built on the site of the

 7th century church of Santa Reparata, the remains of which can be seen in the crypt.

                   

The cathedral was begun at the end of the 13th century in the Gothic style by Arnolfo di Cambio,

and the dome, which dominates the exterior, was added in the 15th century.

                   

The exterior is covered in a decorative mix of pink, white and green marble.

                   

Its name ("Saint Mary of the Flower") refers to the lily, the symbol of Florence.

                   

We walked around Florence (Firenze in Italian) in the evening, and found a great singer.

We listened to the concert until 11:00 PM and then enjoyed the city lights on our walk back.

                  

We really enjoyed Florence at night. t's hard to go back to the B&B.

         

Below - The Door of Paradise by Ghiberti

There are ten panels, five to each door, surrounded by a continuous sequence of small heads,

floral motifs and niches which, in their turn, contain small statues of Prophets and Sybils.

The iconographic formula, dedicated to stories from the Old Testament,

was created by Leonardo Bruni, humanist and chancellor of the Republic.

                  

Ghiberti followed it by inserting more than one episode in each panel, using daring perspective.

The iconographic formula, dedicated to stories from the Old Testament,

was created by Leonardo Bruni, humanist and chancellor of the Republic.