In April, 2005, Kate and I visited Italy for a week, accompanied by nieces Katie and Liz. We flew into Florence, took a train to Venice and spent a couple of days there, and then returned to Florence for the balance of the trip. Katie's sister Christina was going to school in Florence for the year, and so we would also have a little family reunion. We also did side trips to Siena and Cinque-Terre.

One day, in Venice were were getting brunch in a cafe near our hotel, when we met a gentleman, who, it turned out, lived with his wife in an apartment on the plaza where the cafe was, and who was also a retired operatic tenor. He invited us back to his apartment, and, accompanied by Kate on piano, he treated us to a couple of songs, which were the Schubert Ave Maria and the Mendelssohn Ave Maria.

On our last day in Venice, we were visited by Franzone (Liz') relatives who lived near Venice.

Back in Florence, we trooped around and visted all kinds of places, including a museum with a Leonardo exhibit that had re-constructions of some of Leonardo's inventions.

On another day, we took the train to Cinque-Terre, where we hiked the trail that runs between the five villages. I chose to not walk the entire trail (bad knee, and all that) but instead take the train part of the way.

Kate and I went to Siena on another day trip from Florence (via bus). Siena still has its medieval wall around the city, plus its own wonderful cathedral.

street scene, Florence
Communist demonstration with police, Florence
Florence
Interesting windscreen on scooter, Florence
Florence
Ponte Vecchio, Florence
view from train station, Venice
police boat, Venice
Katie at the cafe near our hotel, Venice
Kate at the cafe near our hotel, Venice
Kate, Katie, Liz, and Tenor-boy the (retired) opera singer
Kate playing while Tenor-boy wails away in his apartment
view from canal, Venice
view from canal, Venice
view from canal, Venice
view from canal, Venice
view from canal, Venice
Katie and Liz among the throngs, Piazza San Marco, Venice
Doge's Palace detail, Piazza San Marco, Venice
canal view, Venice, note the skewed tower.
canal view, Venice, from the other side of the skewed tower.
Gondolier on his break and on his cell.
Katie and Liz
Liz, Katie, and Kate walking. We did a lot of walking.
Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta on Torcello Island, near Venice
telephoto view of top of the tower
telephoto view of tower from Burano
view from the tower on Torcello Island, near Venice
view from the tower on Torcello Island, near Venice
telephoto view of Venice from the tower
telephoto view from the tower
the climb up the square tower.
said to be Atilla's throne
Burano island, near Venice
Burano island, near Venice
"national guard" sign Burano island, near Venice
telephoto view of top of lighthouse, Venice
Venice
cruise ship in the Grand Canal, Venice
the rest of the cruise ship in the Grand Canal, Venice
package delivery van in Venice
package delivery van in Venice
San Giorgio Maggiore Church on San Giorgio island, Venice
Kate and Bill on San Giorgio island, Venice
all of us on San Giorgio island, Venice
Plaza in Venice
another view from train station entrance, Venice
choo-choo, Venice to Florence
Liz in the first class section
more choo-choo
reunion with Chrissy
Reading Terminal ? No, Mercato Centrale in Florence
Mercato Centrale
"original" stall in Mercato Centrale
Mercato Centrale -- stomachs and other bits we usually throw out
Mercato Centrale
street scene, Florence. Lots of scooters here!
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, with copy of "the David"
the padlocks represent couples' commitments - Ponte Vecchio, Florence
entrance to Boboli Gardens, Florence
Boboli Gardens, Florence
Boboli Gardens, Florence
Boboli Gardens, Florence
Boboli Gardens, Florence
Boboli Gardens, Florence
Boboli Gardens, Florence
Boboli Gardens, Florence
Boboli Gardens, Florence
"Smarte car" out in front of Boboli Gardens, Florence
Interesting overhang, Florence
three wheeled delivery vehicle, Florence
Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, aka Il Duomo, Florence
Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, aka Il Duomo, Florence
view from top of rotunda of Il Duomo, Florence
view from climb to top of Il Duomo, Florence
view from climb to top of Il Duomo, Florence
view from climb to top of Il Duomo, Florence
view from top of Il Duomo, Florence
view from top of Il Duomo, Florence
view from top of Il Duomo, Florence
Leonardo exhibit, Florence
preparing dinner in Chrissy's apartment, Florence
village of Monterosso, Cinque-Terre
Cinque-Terre beach
Cinque-Terre beach from the trail
Chrissy, Liz, Katie on the Cinque-Terre trail
view of beach, olive groves from the trail
view of olive groves from the trail
the trail
view of Vernazza from the trail
view of Vernazza from the trail
view of Vernazza from the trail
C,L,K and view of Vernazza from the trail
tram for moving produce along the trail. Note: "up" is skewed 45deg!
Another view of the tram and the trail, with German tour group.
view of Vernazza from the trail
Another view of the tram and the trail, with German tour group.
view of Vernazza from the trail
the train line that accesses Cinque-Terre
Back in Florence, an older Honda CBR600F that I took a shine to.
Gelato shop
Machiavelli's tomb in Santa Croce Cathedral
Dante's tomb in Santa Croce Cathedral
Michaelangelo's tomb in Santa Croce Cathedral
Niccolini's tomb in Santa Croce Cathedral
picture of picture of Galileo's tomb in Santa Croce Cathedral
antique register in a shop - Lire, instead of Euro
Chrissy, Kate, Katie at dinner at Chrissy's
Siena
Piazza del Campo, Siena
Piazza del Campo, Siena
Piazza del Campo, Siena
Piazza del Campo, Siena
Siena
falconer, falcon, Siena
Il Duomo di Siena
Il Duomo di Siena
Il Duomo Cathedral detail, Siena
Il Duomo Cathedral detail, Siena
motorcycle helmets and other things -- offerings in the Il Duomo Cathedral
police Moto Guzzi and officer, Siena
view through arch of Il Duomo di Siena
Kate on Siena "street"
motorcycle parking, Siena

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