This page contains a number of very large pictures. It may take a while to download. Eventually, I'll create thumbnails and link them to these, but for now, bear with me.
Our itinerary took us through a German airport (I drank beer and bought chocolate), a night in Paris (where we saw very little), and a rail trip to Venice (copiously videotaped). Our actual destinations were Venice (~2 days), Florence (1 week), and Rome (~3 days). Our first night in Venice, arriving quite late, we went walking around the city by night. This is one of our first photos, and it *almost* captures the eerie, lovely light of the Venetian dusk.
The main sights in Venice are the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica. This picture was taken in the dungeons of the Doge's Palace, near a structure called the Bridge of Sighs.
For the Florentine leg of our trip, we stayed at a farm ~16 km from the city, and we hiked through a lot of landscapes like the one pictured here; my favorite part of the trip, I think. This is a grape vineyard, with a nice view of the Tuscan landscape and sky in the background.
Our lodgings near Florence-- at an agriturismo-expanded farm, Podere Torricella-- were close to a village called Cerbaia. We hiked this road down to the village every morning for a week in order to catch a bus into Florence.
Getting back to our lodgings at night, we hiked up from a town called San Vincenzo a Torri. This is a church that we passed every evening; the bells played on the hour. In fact, belltowers in the Tuscan countryside ring gorgeous carillions all day and evening, and hiking in the twilight there can be very satisfying to the ear.
Towards the end of one day's hike up from San Vincenzo a Torri. The wooden object around my neck is a Franciscan cross; I bought it for its unusal shape (like a T instead of a plus sign), and out of a general admiration for St. Francis.
The Duomo is a fantastic feat of Renaissance engineering, and visitors are permitted to climb to the top of the dome. A kind English couple agreed to take a picture of Larisa and I perched ona staircase *inside* the dome (the only way to ascend).
Here's an aerial view of Florence, receding into the Tuscan countryside, taken by Larisa from Giotto's belltower adjoining the Duomo.
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