The Uffizi, David and Pisa

Started early with the Uffizi. It was fascinating to track the development of the mostly religious paintings (Madonna with Child), especially the poses that the baby struck and the faces given to him by the painters. On the way out we laughed at the others stuck in the huge queue. Pre-book! It was then our turn for a queue (about 1/2 an hour or less) when we visited the Gallerie de'Accademie for a look at Michelangelo's statue of David, fresh from his 500 years birthday. Worth the wait. Amazing (as are the postcards outside highlighting his particular endowment, along with those of other statues). Caught an hour long ride to Pisa. Saw the leaning tower (shorter than expected) and the adjoining cathedral and Baptitsry (beautiful buildings, covered with such detail). Didn't pay the big fees to enter any of the buildings, but just admired them from the outside. Unfortunately the camera's battery ran dry during the usual "pretend to hold up the tower" photo shoot, so wasn't able to capture all the buildings. The trip back was in the evening, when Italy is at its most beautiful. The cloudscapes above the church towers atop the hills could have come from a painting in the Uffizi.