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Published on Aug 4, 2009
Arriving at our deluxe Grand Hotel Baglioni, we check out the rooms and the view, then hop on the city bus to Piazzale Michelangelo. This is the one of the worlds great panoramas, so it is worth the effort to get here. It is too far and too steep to walk comfortably but you can easily find a taxi or better yet, catch the city bus in front of the train station for the quick, inexpensive ride across the river and up the hill. Then later you can easily walk back down to town. The vista takes in the full span of Florence, spreading below you in a sea of clay tile roofs, punctuated by many domes, towers, bridges and framed by hills in the background, with the commanding presence of the great Duomo rising above all. When finished you could hail a taxi back into town, but there is a very pleasant walk downhill that leads to quiet lanes along the river, and then to the Ponte Vecchio, which you can reach in twenty minutes. On our way down we admire the view of Ponte Vecchio and while in the neighborhood, have a look inside Orsanmichele, a stunning small Gothic church. Stone-cutters in their workshop show us how they create new sculpture to adorn the gothic churches of Florence. Then it is time to go, heading north to Venice.