|This morning after breakfast we headed out to the train station to book our reservation for Venice. All the transit buses in Florence seem to use the train station as the main hub and while there we got directions to reach Piazalle Michelangelo. Bus 12 wound its way thru the streets of Florence over the Arno River and up into the hills above Florence where we reached the Piazzale in about half an hour. In the centre was one of the copies of Michelangelo's "David" and the views were quite spectacular. We spent an hour in the Piazzale and then caught bus 12 for the return journey back down into Florence. When we got back in to the streets of Florence we stopped at a little sidewalk café called Trattoria Nerone where we had a wonderful lunch....Barb had fettuccine with black truffle sauce and the flavours were amazing and I had the "spaghetti ai frutti de mare" and received a plate heaping with spaghettini, mussels, baby clams, shrimp, squid and baby octopus.....it too was truly a taste sensation. While we were enjoying our cappuccino, a rain storm came up and it was lightening and thundering and then all of a sudden the skies opened up and it just poured and poured and a sudden gust of wind made the rain go horizontal and it came straight at us in our little booth and soaked us both, along with the others who were eating outside. The waiter came over with an umbrella and helped each of us across the alleyway to the main restaurant. It was raining so hard that the restaurant got flooded and the waiters got squeegees and mops and were busily pushing the water out the back door. The rain let up a bit and we left the restaurant and as walked back to our room we saw numerous buildings that were flooded and people mopping up. The rain continued off and on for a few hours and at about 5:30 we headed back to the area of Piazza dell' Signoria and the Duomo making our way there thru the streetmarket which was a mess of water and debris from the afternoon storm. While by the Duomo, the carbinieri arrived and closed off the street because a crane which had been lifting some steel beams to a roof top across the way had its load shift and the beams were twisting precariously high above the street. It began raining again and fire trucks arrived and we left them to their work of getting the beams stabilized or back down to the ground. We made our made back to our room in the rain and on the way we passed by Cheisla San Lorenzo, another church close by to the Duomo. As we reached our street, it too was blocked by service vehicles......one of the buildings had flooded quite badly and they were using pumps to get the water out....this had to be one of the worst storms to hit Florence for a while.....there are numerous Palazzos, museums and gardens and other sights to see here in Florence and one and half days isn't enough to see them all (even without the rain). One would have to plan a week long trip to do this city justice.......perhaps some day, as tomorrow we leave for Venice.......