Rising early and making the long drive to Florence, situated on the banks of the Arno River, the commercial and cultural center of Tuscany; a former capitol of Italy,; home of the Famiglia de' Medici and birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, made famous by Dante, Boccacciocio, Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. After a guided tour touching on the history of Florence, we then sat in a piazza and had lunch, then walked the cobblestone streets to see Florentine life.
Before leaving the area we visited the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial where we looked at the row upon row of markers of those interned for eternity who sacrificed their lives during the Italian campaign of WW11, and participated in the lowering of the flag at days end with a rifle salute and Taps. Personally, I visited graves of those of my faith, placing a small pebble on the the headstone to mark my visit, while my fellow travellers paid their respects in their own ways. It was a very sobering time of an otherwise energetic day.