Florence or Firenze really blew me away. Once the heart of the Italian renaissance Florence is full of beautiful art, sculptures and architecture. It was fun to imagine Florence as it was leaving the hard times of the Plague and entering the renaissance with the Medici family, Lorenzo the Magnificent, Michelangelo and countless other timeless names all in one city. The spark that started the renaissance took place here for a reason. The enormous Duomo (or Dome) was one of the most remarkable structures I have ever seen in my life. The outside of the cathedral is red, green and white marble. On the front of the cathedral the elaborate decorations are a mix of statues and carvings that fill every inch. You could stare at this building for hours. Florence has no shortage of museums that we visited. The Academia Museum is home to the famous David statue by Michelangelo which did not fail to impress. The Uffizi Gallery is another large museum that we visited. This museum has a large collection of famous paintings and sculptures by some of the best Italian renaissance artists including Da Vinci, Botticelli, Caravaggio, and Raphael. Our favorite pieces were “Allegory of Spring” and “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli and “Medusa” (painted on a shield) by Caravaggio. Beside taking in all the amazing art, we also took in some more delightful food. Italian food is simply the best. We have become gelato critics and have decided so far that our favorite flavors have been macadamia nut and limoncello. We are excited to go to Rome and see what it has in store for us. -A.C