Florence, after seeing (in the first part) Santa Maria Novella church, Duomo square, and Signoria square, I wanted to tell something about Galleria degli Uffizi, that is next to Signoria square.
It is one of the most important Italian museums but we did not mange to see it because of the lack of time, but surely it is worth it because there are some priceless artworks, for example Botticelli’s Primavera.
After a walk in the street next to the Galleria we reached the River Arno, and then we walked for 100 meters in the street next to it until Ponte (bridge) Vecchio, one of the city symbols.
Built in 1345, it is the only bridge in Florence that was not destroyed by Nazis during the Second world war, I would like to think that it is so because even they appreciated its beauty.
The view of the river from Arno’s bank is amazing, with those fascinating colourful little houses where I dream I will live one day.
Obviously, it is one of the most romantic places in the city and, though I would not have thought, on the bridge there are not a lot of different kinds of shops, but just some goldsmith’s shops, very characteristic anyway.
It is the best bridge I have ever seen in my life and if I received one euro for every tourist who thought the same I would be a millionaire and I could finally afford to buy one of those little houses on it.
It took one hour walk from Signoria square to the other side of the river, not because the bridge is long – 20 km- but because it was impossible not to stop all the time admiring the surroundings, so..
2 hours, 30 minutes and 14 euros left
It was lunch time and, going towards the next destination, we started to look for a restaurant. We were very lucky because we found a very good one (unfortunately I do not remember the name) where we ate tasty food and drank good red wine for 10 euros.
We did not take the traditional Florentine steak but we had a very tasty appetizer with nuts and different kinds of cheese to put in the honey, so tasty that it deserved a picture.
Next destination is Piazzale (square) Michelangelo: it is about 1 km far away from the restaurant and we had no idea how it looked like, but the man who sold us the city map strongly recommended to go there, so we thought it was worth it.. and we were totally right.
After some 20 minutes walking (last 5 were quite hard because we walked on a little hill) we reached that amazing place.
Since it is quite high, the view is amazing: I’ll never forget it and I would say it is even better then the famous Roma’s Gianicolo.
From there it is possible to admire the centre of Florence, with Brunelleschi’s dome that make this panorama look like a fairy tale.
Even in this case, there were a lot of tourists taking pictures, so I had to wait my turn for some minutes..
In the middle of the square there is another copy of Michelangelo’s David, and on the right side an ice-cream parlour, where we took one ice cream for each of us for a normal price despite the amazing location.
Since we still had 1 hour and half (and 1 euro) and the distance from the station was about 3 km, which we calculated to walk through in some 40 minutes, we sat down on a staircase and enjoyed for more than one hour the ice cream, the view of one of the most fascinating cities of Italy and of the world, the sun and the music notes of a young singer with a guitar.
Obviously the time literally flew and that hour passed like 5 minutes, so we had to leave for the train station to take one of the few train for Genoa despite this damned strike, that actually was not so damned because it allowed us to see this jewel called Florence.
At the end of the day we were very happy because we managed to see all the most important things of the city in just 6 hours.
The best 3 things were the Duomo, in my opinion even better than Milano’s one, Ponte Vecchio and Piazzale Michelangelo, amazing places that the law should make compulsory for everyone to see at least once in life.
Information and advice:
Amerigo Vespucci airport is about 20 minutes car ride far away from Santa Maria Novella train Station
Tourist information office is located in Cavour street, 10 minutes walk far away from the same station
In the center of Florence there is no need to take a bus or a taxi because it is very convenient to tour it by foot and a lot of streets are forbidden for vehicles
It would be a good idea to be in Piazzale Michelangelo during the sunset time