The title says it all – I went to Florence!! Trying to seize every minute, I ran around town a lot, visiting eight museums in three days. Accordingly, I could probably write fifteen blogposts about all my experiences, but who’s got time for that? I don’t, so here you go with the first of three super dense summaries of my three days in Florence!
I arrived around noon and walked from the main train station to the southern part of the city, where my couchsurfing host lived. It was a short walk, but I was already smitten. Florence is literally the most Renaissance a city can get and so enchantingly beautiful! For example, I ended up on the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) by accident, one of Florence’s most famous sights. Being on the bridge, you can easily mistake it for a regular street, just one that happens to be lined by jewelers. From the outside, it’s very particular and cute!
The first thing I did after dropping my huge back pack was walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo. The weather was perfect and I hoped to get some nice panaroma views. Well, I was not disappointed, plus it was an idyllic walk up the hill. After snapping a few obligatory photos, I went to visit San Miniato al Monte (dating back to 1013), sitting enthroned on the hill with it’s splendid facade.
On my way back into town, I stopped by at a tiny little place called “Come Dio Comanda” (As God Commands) to pick up a Panino. I learned it’s very Tuscan to find these little shops all over the place where you can get your freshly prepared, customized Panino with the most delicious ingredients ever – such as black olive or artichocke pâté, sun dried tomatoes and pesto – for reasonable prices. Woah, they are so delicious though! I wished you’d find them here in Milan, I love streetfood!
Next, I decided it was time for some ice cream. Florentine ice cream is very famous and my destination was one of the more famous Gelaterias, called Vivoli. Since it was close to Santa Croce, I pulled myself together and went to see it first. Being the burial place of Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini and Machiavelli, it’s a must see and of course, I thought it was really beautiful (yeah, I’ll try to find synonyms, but you’ll see me using this word a lot). After walking around the entire Basilica, I visited the adjacent Scuola del Cuoio (Leather School) where you can watch artisans at work and then took a break in the flawless courtyard. Actually, I thought it was hilarious how passionate the gardener seemed to be about his roses. They were growing in the middle of the perfect lawn that nobody dared to walk on and still, he put up a sign saying “It’s forbidden to touch the roses”.
Now it was really ice cream time! I had chocolate with little pieces of oranges and Straciatella. Hmmmmm, so good. Happily eating, I added a little stroll along a few more sights before I finally went back home.