Arrival in Florence
Firenze, as the Italians call Florence, is magical. Our friend, Jennie, asked me last night what made Florence so special for me. I thought a bit and then realized that this city can immediately transport one to a different time, a time where art and artisans ruled the city. It happens when you walk the narrow streets and realize that this was the birthplace of the Renaissance.
The last two and a half days in Florence have been a whirlwind. Our hotel room has a beautiful view of the Duomo and its Campanile.
Although our hotel, Hotel Savoy, sits directly on the Piazza della Repubblica, most of the action in this part of the city occurs on the Piazza della Signoria. Florence in July can be a nightmare… the city is hot, muggy, and teeming with tourists. Our stay here is no exception but the Piazza della Signoria has so much to offer. We enjoyed an orchestral concert on Sunday night and had several drinks in one of the lovely cafes on the piazza.
As I mentioned, Duomo, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is right around the corner from our hotel. Tourists line the perimeter of the edifice waiting to gain entrance inside. This time, Rich and I decided not to go inside – the crowds were enormous and the wait lengthy. There’s also so much to see on the outside.
Galleria degli Uffizi
Today, we went to the Uffizi Museum. Although we have been to Florence many times, we have never been inside the Uffizi – I know, that’s a mortal sin! Success this time, however, because we purchased advanced tickets online. Our entry time was 9:00am and when the ticket attendant took my ticket, I noticed that he clicked 1441 – 1,440 entrants were before us. No worries, there was still plenty of room to enjoy the works of art. Many of these works were donated by the Medici family centuries ago.
Views around Florence
There’s so much to see and experience – every narrow street and piazza offers a stunning encounter. Here I’ve included photos that highlight the Cathedrals of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella, some street scenes, and panoramas of the Arno River.
I’ll close tonight with a photo taken last night with our friends, Mark and Jennie. We enjoyed a terrific meal at Buca Mario. Purely by happenstance, our travels coincided for a few days.
Please check back for more on our travels through Italy and the Mediterranean.