Last week I posted the first set of photos from my European vacation – all those photos were taken in Paris. This week, I want to share the ones I took in Florence, Italy.

After a couple of days in Paris, we took a train to Florence, Italy for the next leg of our trip. After a long, quiet day of reading books and looking at the Alps as we rode through them, we eventually landed in Florence. It was already getting late, so we lugged our bags straight over to the hotel.

Our room was small, but gorgeous:

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Beautiful place to get a little rest before another big day. Our hotel, Hotel Torre Guelfa, was beautiful inside, but had another feature that interested us – the tower. The hotel boasts the highest public rooftop patio in the city, and that means we got to enjoy a beautiful view.

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It proved to be a beautiful place to drink some wine at the end of a long day.

The next day, we got an early start to see some local sights.

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Kent, in one of the skinny little pedestrian roads that Florence has so many of. It’s a very tightly-packed city, with the narrowest roads I saw on the whole trip. A city as old as Florence is never planned for cars and traffic. I loved the little passageways, though.

Our first stop was Il Duomo, or The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. It’s a beautiful cathedral made of the most remarkable red, green, and white marble, with a giant dome that tourists can climb. Here’s the building from the outside:

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And here’s the dome, from the inside, beautifully painted:

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The climb up to the top of the dome made me feel very claustrophobic – it was very narrow, and you often had to wait for people to pass before you could go in the opposite direction.

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But the view from the top was simply beautiful:

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After leaving the Duomo, we wandered around to see the sights for a bit:

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Here’s Ponto Vecchio, a built-up bridge full of jewelry shops:

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… and a view of the riverfront:

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After wandering for a while longer, and then getting an awesome (and unphotographed) fancy dinner, we went to catch what was rumored to be an epic sunset spot – but it was pretty overcast. Anyway, good light for portraits:

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The next day, before leaving Florence, we checked out the Galleria dell’Accademia, where the famous sculpture of David by Michelangelo lives.

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Florence was a beautiful city for leg two of our vacation.