Final thoughts from Florence

20 minutes pre-paid internet time to be exact!!

I did the Ponte Vecchio by night after last night’s post. Just as well as it’s closed tonight for concert/film. Did a lot more of Florence by night too … an excellent busker doing all the Simon and garfunkel favourites.

Don’t think I’ve mentioned how they save costs on school buildings here (and even more in Sicily) ….. at any one time about 20% of school students are on excursion. I swear!! Each group has a different coloured baseball cap. Mostly they are OK but it was thoroughly unpleasant at the Ear of Dionysius, an echoing cave in Siracusa …. three classes of school kids screaming at once with the sound reverberation off the walls was really something ….. awful!

The smoking thing …. many fewer signs in Florence than Rome saying No Smoking. Fewer signs to ignore, basically. And not only cigarettes – cigars, big and small, too. You don’t realise how smoke free Oz is until you come to a place like this.

Today …. from the crypt at the Duomo to San Miniato al Monte and various points in between. If/When you’re in Florence, take a tip: get the bus up to San Miniato and walk down. Don’t be fooled by any nonsense about it being a bracing walk “just up-hill a bit”!! At the Bargallo I had one objective: Donatello’s David. David is being restored! I did see him though – lying face-down on a specially constructed padded stand while a woman at a microscope worked on his ankle!

Tomorrow it’s another early start – the 7.30am train to Ravenna. It’s a direct ‘local’ train – stopping all stations. Should be interesting and hopefully fun. At least it avoids a change at Bologna. Ravenna is famed for it’s mosaics. It will be wonderful – 2 days instead of the 2 hours I had on the 1999 Trafalgar Tour. But I’m not sure any more that it will be better then Monreale.

BTW – I haven’t met anyone I know yet!

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