We started our walking tour of Florence at 09:00 with Elsa, a local guide, beginning at the Signorini Palace. The palace was built in the 1200's, and the art was added later by Medicis. We sat at Loggia D'Lanzi for the introductory lecture, then walked through the Uffizi courtyard, the Duomo (Santa Maria Della Fiore), and Santa Croce. A few brave(?) souls parted from the group to climb the dome. At 11:00 we went to the Leonardo Leather Works for a display of how to spot real gold stamping and real leather from fakes.
After the tour we went looking for lunch, and wound up at the Academy Cafe where we chatted with a couple from St. Louis, Missouri. When we finished lunch we waited in the ticket line at the Academy for about 15-20 minutes, then wanderd through the museum. Allan especially enjoyed the "prisoners" by Michelangelo. The academy also had a special Giotto exhibit for the Jubilee.
After the museum, we stopped at the Gelateria Carabe' then walked to Santa Croce. After a few minutes on a bench watching the tourists go by, we continued back to the hotel. Jane napped for a while, then we met for the bus to dinner at a restaurant in the hills above Florence. Dinner was fantastic: Florentine steaks so large and so tasty they were unbelievable. The entertainment was perhaps more funny than it should have been, as was the company after several bottles of wine.
When we returnd to the hotel our laundry was clean and pressed, though one of the underwires from Jane's bra had gone missing. That was our fault for putting delicates into the general wash.