Posted by: jtccitaly | June 1, 2011

A Town With a View

Okay, I got the internet to work – I’m going to start uploading! I’ve been writing entries the last few days, but haven’t been able to get them posted. I won’t promise to catch up totally tonight (I have about a gazillion emails to respond to as well) but I’ll at least get one up! I should be able to catch up tomorrow when we get to Rome (tomorrow we leave Florence and go to Rome with a stop in Sienna.) Here’s an entry for May 30th.

I started out early today – a few of us met at 6:30AM to do a walk around the old city to take pictures before the crowds arrived. I think it was worth it, but you can decide. Since I was up, I decided to do a quick run through the old city and down the Arno. It was a perfect morning for a run and I enjoyed running past such beautiful sites.

The group started off the day at the Duomo – the museum first (I was able to take pictures of some stuff, including Michelangelo’s Pietà – it’s more amazing in real life but at least you get the idea.) We then visited the Duomo, which is also amazing. The dome is really remarkable.

Next, we were off to the Barghello for more wonderful art – I couldn’t take pictures through most areas, but some I could so check out the photos. We saw lots of incredible sculptures.

We took a break then for lunch and shopping – the leather good here are exquisite and I think most of us now have at least one leather item! Beth and I wandered around trying to figure out bus routes but we did manage to get in some shopping too.

A few energetic students and I met to climb the dome – 463 steps! Most of the steps are really big and really steep. It was worth it though as you can see from the photos. It was fun, but I certainly doubted the wisdom of doing an early morning run and an afternoon stair climb in the same day. I may be a little sore tomorrow!

We met up to take the bus to Fiesole – a hill town (but we could take the bus!) with some Etruscan ruins and delicious pizza!

We got to see the sun set and enjoyed another incredible view. Sorry for the sparse details –I’m pretty beat from all the action today. It was a great day! Check out the slideshow!

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PS – I also hear that the Jersey Shore was in Florence today but I’ll have to get some of the students to update you on that. I know basically nothing about them. When Andrew first told me that he saw the Jersey Shore, I thought that either he was hallucinating from lack of sleep or that some geographic disaster had occurred. 🙂



  1. Hi. It looks like you are really filling the days to the max. I love to skim the pictures first and then read about your days. It makes me want to go to Italy in the near future.
    My third grade class takes their social studies SOL test tomorrow. Part of the 3rd grade material is Ancient Rome, so I have been showing your slides. The kids love it and they know they are not allowed to miss any Rome questions because Mr. Magnusen/Jonathan is in Rome! The Roman road, arches, sculptures, Colosseum, and much more has been great to review what was taught earlier. I must say the kids loved the title “I see dead people”. They wanted me to read that post to them. I think it made them want to hear about that day more.
    I have loved the humor in the daily events. I feel like I am there with you somehow.
    Have a great day and I’m glad you all are having fun and helping my class learn!!!
    See you soon, Jonathan.
    Laura Magnusen

    • My older son is in third grade (he just took the social studies SOL yesterday!) so I’m just thrilled that you are sharing these posts with your class. Kerrick (my son) is really interested in all of it and it’s wonderful that your kids are enjoying it too. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Hi Kerrigan, as always, great pictures, in regards to the Jersey Shore crew, yes, the kiddos are in IT, and were spotted in Florence, as per my confidant told me, lol…she said that I’m tall besides Snooky Polizi, so you can imagine she must be less than 5′ tall.

  3. Pictures are amazing! Love the Fountain of Neptune. Hope everyone’s feet and legs recover–I would have climbed all the steps too. You just HAVE to DO IT!

  4. The view was definitely worth the climb. Wow. Love the sculptures. Florence is beautiful, isn’t it?? Good luck on the rest of the trip. By the way, did you find embroidered tablecloths anywhere? I still have the one I bought there.

  5. Great pictures! I did not get to see this version of Michelangelo’s pieta – it is beautiful. I did get to see his other pieta that is at the Vatican – well, I say that I saw it. I was trying to see it through tears – it was so beautiful and to be able to finally see it in person was so overwhelming I started crying. Hope you enjoy your day at the Vatican!

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