Next we went to Florence, Italy by train on the 16th of July. We did not plan to stay there because it is so busy with loud traffic, but there was plenty of time to see Michelangelo's sculptures at the Academia and to walk the ancient streets to the Duomo and admire the beautiful architecture.

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As the sun was setting Thursday we got a bus to Siena, Italy. Siena is a walled medieval hill town once an independent city state and a center of commerce. Later it came under control of the Medici family of Florence. The Medici's were the main supporters of Michelangelo. I love Siena's cobblestone streets and ancient buildings. The town is famous for its continuation of a medieval tradition of racing horses in the town-square. There are special banners hanging to signify the supporters of the 9 separate "clubs" that race. We walked to the Duomo (the main church at the top of the hill). The streets are circular and it seemed we kept getting returned to the church until we figured how to make progress down the hill to our hotel.