This morning we woke up in Florence and started the day with a beautiful tour of the city. We went by the Duomo and learned about this incredible gothic cathedral. The famous exterior is made almost completely out of marble that is white and green with a red roof.
This is where the colors for the Italian flag came from! The construction for the Duomo started in the late 13th century and took over 120 years to complete. It was an incredible testament to people sacrificing and giving to something so much bigger than just themselves. The people who started building it would never see the completion.
Right across from the cathedral we saw the Baptistry. The doors of the Baptistry were made by Ghiberti and are often credited as the first pieces of Renaissance art in the world. They have panels on each of the doors depicting different scenes from the Bible and different gospel writers. This was the Baptistry where many famous people like the Medici Family and Dante were baptized. It was incredible!
From there we continued walking through the city, seeing many of the other famous sites of Florence like the Ponte Vecchio and the replica of the David statue where our guide told us all about this incredible work of art. One of the fascinating pieces of information we learned was when we arrived at the Sacred Heart Cathedral to find a whole temporary stadium set up in the square. Apparently they play a game similar to football where the players will actually fight one another during the game. The four districts of Florence play against each other in June each year for honor and bragging rights.
From there we saw a leather demonstration at one of the oldest and most famous leather factories in the world. After a great lunch everyone had free time to explore the city. Some were able to see the original David statue by Michelangelo while others went to the famous Uffizi Gallery. It has been a great day, and we are ready for a free day tomorrow to enjoy this beautiful place!