We regrouped early the next morning for our incredible visit to the Uffizi. As we walked past the long line of visitors and entered ahead of everyone else we were reminded the benefits of taking this tour! Our local guide gave us in-depth looks into the works of Botticelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and so many others. If I had visited the museum on my own without such a knowledgeable guide I would have been lost. She made the art very accessible for Caroline and me. It was an incredible morning. We were then free to stay at the museum as long as we liked.
Caroline and I lingered and enjoyed the many genres that are on display. We then found a cozy osteria recommended in the Rick Steves' guidebook near the museum where we enjoyed hearty Tuscan stew and bread. With full stomachs we explored both the Duomo and Santa Croce, Florence's two most famous churches. As twilight descended we visited the Palazzo Vecchio and leisurely walked and window-shopped along the Ponte Vecchio. Florence had satisfied all of our Tuscan dreams and we returned to our cozy hotel satisfied and sleepy.