Florence. Florence, Italy, people! I felt more cultured just walking the streets, I'm telling you!
The buildings are so magnificent that they are difficult to photograph, so I'd suggest clicking the links if you want better photos.
A history of visual arts is written deep into the fabric of this city. The Uffizi Gallery--to see Botticelli's Birth of Venus and Primavera in person took my breath away. The frescoes in the Palazzo Davanzati. The practical artwork of Galileo and other scientists at the Museo Galileo. And, of course, Michaelangelo's David at the Accademia--like all sculptures, meant to be seen in person to appreciate the scale, the texture, and the depth--the emotion.
Enjoying gelato at Grom
Loved our hotel! The Loggiato dei Serviti.
On our drive from Florence to Rome, we made a stop at the Tenuta le Velette winery near Orvieto. The vivacious co-owner of this family operation gave us an overview of the business and then walked us through a four-course winetasting and buffet. Although I don't drink I found it fascinating!
The lighting at high noon was not conducive to photography of the beautiful countryside--trust me that your fantasies of life in the hills of Umbria or Tuscany are probably not far off the mark (although, I expect, entailing much less work than the reality!).
On to Rome!