Thursday, November 15, 2012

Florence, Italy 1

Florence, Italy 1

Welcome to the city of Florence, Italy the third stop on our cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas. Since we had never been there before and it was nearly 80 minutes drive from the port, we decided to take a tour that lasted around 9.5 hours. The drive to the city was quite informative because the guide was quite knowledgeable, however when we arrived in the crowded city, she didn't have a radio system so we had to depend on hearing her, which was next to impossible because of the large number of tour guides all around talking. As a result we followed a guide around for around for nearly three hours, but didn't hear much about the places we visited.

We were told that Florence, like Barcelona and Rome has many pickpockets so I decided to take only one camera with me, the Nikon P500. Even though I don't like using that camera because of the poor viewfinder and slow speed of focus and zoom, I was glad I took it once I started walking around the city. It was so crowded, it would have been difficult to move through the crowds with my large camera bag. Trying to change lenses would also be very difficult. The Nikon has a 36x optical zoom and a good wide angle so I knew I would be covered for any situation and the results are excellent despite the slow speed so I knew the photos would be OK.

The first few photos show some of the first art I saw - the religious art on one of the buildings and more recent prints that were spread on the streets all over the historical district.  The sixth image shows my first view of the Duomo, or main church of Florence. The tall marble bell tower towered over the buildings of the narrow street. The huge church, once the largest in the world, was started in 1296 and finished in 1436. When viewing the size, the beautiful marble, amazing sculptures and art, I am impressed that it was all done in 140 years using the technology of the 14th century.

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