I deliberately chose a day trip to Florence by train. I had been there one day on the last trip to Italy and came away dazzled by the art and underwhelmed by the city. Once again, it seemed quite uninviting. But it is one giant museum and must be visited. Knowing that we could not take in all that it had to offer, I settled on having John see the Accademia Gallery and the David. Looking down the lofty corridor where he stands at the end, I felt the Stendhal syndrome again… the rapid heartbeat, light head, and welling tears. Walking down the corridor through the gauntlet of Michelangelo’s Slaves (or Prisoners) emerging from the stone slabs, we could see and feel the artist’s presence. To see the David statue is one of life’s great moments. We felt humbled, moved, and mesmerized at being in the presence of such greatness.

We chose to skip the other incredible sights, had a mediocre lunch at an outdoor café and headed for the train. We were happy to head back to cozy Cortona, away from the scammers and hoards that probably make Lorenzo De Medici roll in his grave.

Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Florence, Italy