I initially planned on spending a full day in Florence (which incidentally is called Firenze there, slightly confusing if one does not know it beforehand!), but a train strike in Italy disrupted my plans a bit, and I ended up doing Pisa and Florence on a single day. That of course did not do justice to Florence (Pisa just has the leaning tower, so an hour was more than enough), but at least something was better than nothing!
Italy does not feel like a typical European country in many ways, rather reminded me of india, not only for the history part - the train strike for a day, too many people everywhere and not at all organized, long lines for train reservations or entering any muesum, hugely overpriced stuff near tourist attractions. In fact too long a line prevented me from going atop the leaning tower in PIsa, and resulted in me hurrying through the world famous Uffizi gallery in Florence a couple of hours. Like any other Italian city, Florence skyline is dominated by cathdrals. Walking through narrow roads, suddenly the enormous Duomo cathedral opens up in front of you, and the sheer size of it is almost unbelievable. There are others too, some of them are equally impressive - but somehow the first sight of Duomo left me awestruck.
The photos are here.
(I expect to post the "eternal city", Rome tomorrow)