Flitting through Florence
My friend perused the itinerary, “It all looks great”, she said, “except you’re not staying in Florence for long enough.” And she was right! There is so much to see in Florence that our short two days and one night was just a flitting glimpse.
We left Nice on the early morning train and travelled beside the mesmerising Mediterranean for the last time. At Ventamiglia ( don’t you just love that name? ) we changed trains onto the Trenitalia and speed our way down to Florence. On arrival we hailed a taxi and loaded all the bags in and then showed the driver our destination. Our hotel was just a few minutes walk away, but we did not know that. The taxi driver delivered us to the door, unloaded our bags and said there was no fee for such a short trip. Still hubby pressed some euros into his hand, we went inside, left our bags in reception and went out to explore.
Florence is an easy city to explore on foot; it is an open air museum, bursting with Renaissance art and architecture and attracts millions of visitors every year. We loved the Duomo Square dominated by the spectacular Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. On the second day we rose early to go to The Galleria dell’ Accademia where Michelangelo’s David sculpture is displayed but even so early in the day the line for entrance was loooong and not having pre-purchased tickets we felt our short time in Florence would be better spent not waiting in a queue. Instead we walked to the Piazza de la Signoria which contains The Uffizi Galleria and is located next to Palazzo Vecchio. This square is where The David was originally located and a replica of him is still in place here along with lots and lots of other naked statues. It truly is an open-air museum and it is free!
It was in Florence that I first sampled Limoncello, that Italian digestive made from the sun soaked lemons of Sorrento and full of the oils and medicinal properties of lemon peel. It is served freezing and is delicious and certainly aides the digestion.
Something else I really loved about Florence was the abundance of quality leather goods. We purchased quite a number of gifts for others here and each winter I get to wear my lovely long leather boots purchased in Florence as well as a large very soft leather, almost chamois like, triangular wrap.
I guess it was really fortuitous that we stayed in Florence for only one night as our accommodation was a bit on the small side, especially the bathroom which although the size of a postage stamp boasted a shower, a toilet, a bidet and a hand basin. Hubby got into the shower but simply could not move, squashed in like a sardine there was no way he could budge and exited the shower bone dry. I know we were in Italy and they like bidets but perhaps a larger shower and no bidet would have made better use of the limited space.
We walked to the station to catch the high speed train to Rome and whilst on the platform experienced a proper Italian thunder storm complete with lightning, thunder, gales of wind, horizontal rain and hail. The station came alive with street hawkers trying to sell umbrellas and ponchos to bedraggled commuters.
And so we departed Florence; all roads lead to Rome.