We only had two nights in Florence, and only one of the days were really useable – the day we arrived we made the 2.5km walk to our accommodation and finally had time to stop and think about the family we had just left, and today we had a train departing at 9:13am.
Nevertheless I think Florence was another very successful short visit. Yesterday we left our comfortable bed and breakfast and began our walk back to central Florence. From the centre everything was an easy walk away (for us anyway), and the warm weather meant we were able to walk through the city without jumpers, although the locals still managed to dress in more clothes than we did in Stockholm.
As with most cities, the major attractions come with an inflated entry fee, however we only had one day so there was no point. In fact our somewhat “frugal travel” is a lot of fun for the two of us as we usually end up seeing things that aren’t in the guidebooks and crowded by tourists.
While viewing the Orsammichele from the outside we saw many people paying to visit the church, yet when we walked around the corner we saw an entrance to a building across the road that offered free admission to a display on the second floor. We climbed the stairs, crossed the road via a walkway and entered the Orsammichele. Inside were numerous statues, all very impressive, not to mention the view that we also had of the Florence rooftops.
We made our way through the busy yet skinny streets, stopping frequently to see the famous sites along the way. The Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, Basilica di San Lorenzo, Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio and so on.
Finally we had made our way to Fiume Arno – a river that makes it’s way through Florence. We had been told that there was a good view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo, and we were not misled! With the sun shining we sat outside on a bench and watched the other tourists walk by for about an hour. At one stage a Japanese couple even arrived in a chauffeur driven Bentley for wedding photos in front of the view. Perhaps a little bit more of an extravagant honeymoon than us!
In the early afternoon we made our back to the centre via the scenic route. If anyone is ever looking for something to do in Florence I suggest walking along Viale Galileo Galilei. The road was one of the nicest we had seen, dotted with trees the entire length, and provided views of both city and “country” Florence, perhaps providing an insight of what country Tuscany would be like.
We returned to our accommodation via the supermarket, picked up some supplies and cooked dinner. Exhausted yet satisfied it was an early night, all packed and ready to leave in the morning.