Mvc-001f.jpg (57069 bytes) We departed from Seattle Friday night.  Nine hours later we landed at London's Heathrow airport on Saturday morning.  This fellow caught some sleep in the lounge and his friend charitably placed a collection of empty liquor bottles around his head so he could take that special vacation picture of his buddy.

We get to Rome in the evening - check in, taxi over to the Campo del Fiori for dinner, walk to the Piazza Navona and then head to bed.

Mvc-002f.jpg (79687 bytes) We have just a few hours before we have to catch our train to Florence.   It's Easter morning; we had thought we'd go to St. Peter's to see the crowds, if not the Pope.  But we now don't think we'll have time to get over and return in time for our train - especially if we have problems catching a taxi with so many people there.

We spend a couple of hours at the Coliseum and Roman Forum.

Mvc-005f.jpg (61521 bytes) Every few niches, a Roman soldier (in plastic armor) stands by ready to pose for pictures for a few Lire.
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Mvc-016f.jpg (47318 bytes) We took the Pendolino - fast train - to Florence around noon.   I love this train.  Very comfortable (1st class seats), great dining car, and fast.
Mvc-015f.jpg (51363 bytes) Lunch was timed so we were finishing our dessert as the train began to slow down coming into Florence.
Mvc-017f.jpg (60642 bytes) Outside the train station, we saw a line of 50 people waiting for taxis - but only 1 taxi arriving every couple of minutes.  A quick look at our map and we decide we're not that far from the hotel - we set out on foot through the streets of Florence.
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Mvc-022f.jpg (46691 bytes) It turned out to be less than 1 mile from the train station.  Our hotel is on the Arno river just one block from the Ponte Vechio bridge.  This is a great location - most everything within easy walking distance.
Mvc-024f.jpg (43033 bytes) Our room does not face the river, but Chris has a separate bedroom and bath and our windows face out on an internal courtyard.  This bell tower can be seen from our window - it rings each hour (after 7am); you can see the four bells swinging in this picture.