Florence was awash with Americans. We saw only a few Japanese; at lunch on Sunday the family at the next table were English. We saw many Chinese, two young Indian couples probably on honeymoon, and when we came down the bridge across Ponte Vecchio we were surrounded by the young and old of a Tamil family delighting in chocolates on the street. The largest numbers of all, exceeding even the Americans, were Italians sightseeing in their homeland. On Saturday tourists filled every wide and narrow street, strolling in bright and dark places, lolling on the steps of monuments, crowding the buskers; restaurants and buses and sold-out hotels bulged to bursting.

Friday night the moon came inches above the Campanile next to Brunelleschi’s Duomo; here and there lovers caught sight of it, gasped, and groped for the phone-camera.