We are now firmly installed in Florence and love it already. Our hotel is in a fourteenth century building next to the Palazzo Davanzati which we will see today.

It is a cool place, quirky, and central and we have a lovely room which I am about to exit and do some early exploring in the shops (if open) before we do a historical walk of the city and vist The Uffizi and Accademia.  We visited the leather market yesterday and after looking at the quality I think we will not be purchasing anything there – better quality available elsewhere in Florence from what we can see.  We had wonderful dinner in a nearby ristorante last night, fantastic food (grilled chicken on a sizzling hot plate with rocket and parmesan – delicious! and the the waiters were hilarious –

 It was a great first day in Florence – we have fallen in love with it –

 it is so much more pedestrian and easier to navigate than Rome and it has a great vibe.