When I opened my eyes after a delightful night's sleep, it occurred to me that this is pretty good living -- a four-poster bed, in a 16th-century monastery, a block from Michelangelo's David, with a farmers market going on just outside my window on the most venerable Renaissance square in Florence (Piazza S. S. Annunziata).
After being fitted for wetsuits, personal flotation devices and helmets, we walk down a dirt path to the ocean. "Everyone ready?" the guide asks. "Just remember to stay on the barnacles. The rocks are slippery but the barnacles are your friends." I tighten the shoelaces on my sneakers and follow the others down the slippery rocks.