The train ride from Venice to Florence did not take long (about 2 hrs). As I prepared to leave Venice, I had the same feeling when I prepared to leave Zurich–I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave and wished I had more time to learn the city. That said, I also had the same feeling upon entering Florence as I did the previous two cities: wow.
As I read Colin Well’s, Sailing From Byzantium, I enter Florence, one of the culminating points for the subtitle of Well’s book, “How a Lost Empire Shaped the World.” The relationship of Venice to Constantinople (its traffic of goods, material and ideas, particularly classics by Plato and Aristotle and the scholars who could read Greek) impacted Florence since many of those things, ideas and people ended up here. And you know the rest of that story–the Renaissance was born here. The intersection that is Florence is comprised of roads that run to Venice, Constantinope, the Silk Road East and of course, the Islamic influences that began to surge through the world after the seventh century.
Since I arrived in the afternoon, I have visited the Duomo, eaten lasagna (well!), walked the lasagna off, unpacked and then visited the Museum di Palazzo Veccho, the hub of Florentine politics, economics and commerce and the palace where the Medicis lived. I toured that at 8pm until 10pm. This museum is open until midnight! what a fantastic idea. I plan to visit the church Santa Croce on Tuesday, the Basilica of San Lorenzon on Weds, take time to write, read and digest and then on Thursday afternoon I head to the Eternal City, Rome. As they say in Latin, Pax Christi ~the Peace of Christ.