Our next stop was the center of Firenze, and it was much cheaper than Pisa.  For 10 Euro, we were able to visit il Battistero, la Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, il Campanile, la Cupola, and, I think, two museums that we didn’t visit.  But we started out at il Battistero, which was beautiful inside.  It is thought to have first been used by the Romans for pagan worship and later turned into a battistero – in fact, some of the original paintings still remain on the walls.  This specific battistero was also part of a famous artisan challenge.  Back in the Renaissance, Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti were two finalists for getting the commission to create the doors to il battistero.  Ghiberti won the opportunity, unfortunately, and Brunelleschi really felt the blow to his pride (but in the end Brunelleschi is more well known in Firenze than Ghiberti).  (taken 10.1.2015)