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Florence Italy, vacation in the Renaissance

More Adventure travel tales in Italy:
Sightseeing in Rome
Ruins of Pompeii
Medieval Siena
Venice, City of Water
Other Southern European Tales:
Athens, Greece
Nafplion, Greece
Olympia, Greece
Cappadocia, Turkey
Selçuk, Turkey

The Duomo, cathedral in Florence

Florence Italy, vacation here means meeting the works of Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and all the other artist who filled the city in the Renaissance period with beautiful buildings, statues, and paintings. Although we are not art-lovers, this city is an absolute must see, when traveling through Italy. We try do visit Florence the cheap way, using budget hotels and not visiting the museums.

Florence has a large number of budget hotels, so finding a nice hotel is no problem this time, also because of the low season. After checking in we directly set off to explore the city. Almost immediately we are struck by the beauty of it. Nice streets, with on every corner a beautiful square, church, or other impressive building.

Ponte Vecchio

Via the river we arrive at Ponte Vecchio, the only bridge which was not destroyed during the second world war. The bridge is full with shops, which used to be butcher’s shops. But the last few centuries, the shops are taken over by juwellers. Ponte Vecchio in FlorenceWe stare at the gold and silver on display, while we walk back and forth over the bridge.

Without planning to see art, we bump into a number of statues on Piazza della Signoria. First, there’s a replica of the famous David, the naked statue created by Michelangelo. The original is in a museum, and since the replica is also in scaffoldings, that’s probably a good thing. The fountain of Neptune is still the original though, maybe a little difficult to be put in a museum. And then there’s a gallery of more statues, among which the macabre statue of Perseus, Statue of Perseus, with the chopped off head of Medusaholding the chopped off head of Medusa in his hand. All these statues are copies as well, but we don’t see the difference, we just read that in a book.

Next, we come across the Duomo, Florence’s cathedral. Nice exterior of white marble with green stripes. But the interior is a bit disappointing. Only the dome, created by Brunelleschi and painted by several other artists, is worthwhile.

After the Duomo, we decide we’ve seen enough for today. We decide to have a drink in a local bar, but that’s easier said than done. It takes some time before we find something that resembles a bar, although it’s more like a lunchroom. Apparently, bars are not part of Florence’s culture.

The next day, we have less luck with the weather. But with an umbrella, we manage to visit more of the city. More beautiful churches, palaces, squares, and the city wall. All very pretty, without special highlights.

Piazzala Michelangelo

Our last day in Florence we walk on the other side of the river, where long stairs bring us up to Piazzala Michelangelo. Here is another replica of David, but the main reason for climbing up is obviously the view over the city. We see all the churches from up above, and we can also follow the city wall and the river through the city. Unfortunately, there is a lot of wind up here, which makes it very cold. So we hurry into a warm cafeteria for a hot pasta meal, and then we descend back to the city.

Piazzala degli UffiziWe enter the center of Florence for the last time. We didn’t visit Piazzale degli Uffizi, the street with statues of all the famous artists from the Renaissance yet. It is a very nice street, where present day artists are showing and selling their skills. Painters and mime players ask for our attention, and we enjoy their performances. When we have walked this street two times, it’s time to say goodbye to Florence.

Without visiting a museum we very much enjoyed the art city of Florence. Everywhere are churches, statues, palaces, and squares to admire. Enough to enjoy, even in the cold of januari.

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