Firenze, home of the Duomo, the Ufittzi Museum and where Michelangelo played in the streets as a child. I’m taking a day trip before moving on to Trieste. Remarkably, there have been many changes to this ancient city since I last visited 12 years ago. There is something magical when you step outside the train station and take in the first view.  The last time I was here, the Duomo was covered in scaffolding, but today it’s in it’s full splendor. It had rained the night before, but now the sun is shining and the air crisp and clean. My first destination: The Apple Store (as I mentioned, the city has changed) to charge my dead iPhone. With that off my list, I’m off to Point de Vecchio for some gelato. It’s spring break, and the streets are swarming with tours of middle and high school aged kids. I decide to move on to Piti Palace (an ironic name, if you ask me.) I get in line behind a group of American middle school students.  One of the first sights is the grand ballroom, with it’s gilded walls, magnificent frescoes on the ceiling, and illuminated by huge crystal chandeliers.  I overhear one girl say to her friend: “this is actually pretty nice.” I am sure the Medici family would be flattered by her assessment.


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