Florence The capital of Tuscany has a wonderful renaissance era 'old town' that is built on a smaller scale than Rome. The trip between the two major centres by high speed trains takes under 3 hours (traveling at speeds up to 250 km/hr). We stayed 4 nights at the Hotel City (close to everything) and visited a number of their excellent museums and churches, had a food tour and generally just enjoyed the town.
left Street Vendors line several blocks around the market. There is an amazing variety of goods for sale: leather, shirts, pants, hats etc. They are portable stores with awnings and a large volume of stock for sale. In the evening it all folds up and it is trundled away.
below and right The great basilica in the centre of town is usually called "the Duomo." Started at the end of the 13thC it was under construction for 190 years. The dome was an engineering marvel of its day.
below Nighttime on the upscale shopping street
below Like all modern cities, one can spend serious money on fashion
left - Michelangelo's David (photo taken in the Academia Gallery).
right - a nighttime shot of figures in a church alcove
Florence has cultural assets by day and by night.