Firenze! Cosa posso dire di Firenze? What may I say about Florence? There are so many things to say about this city. It is only an hour and forty-five minute train ride from Milano. Milano is in the region of Lombardia, Lombardy. And Florence is Southwest of the city, and in a different region, Toscana, Tuscany.
Although, not a far train ride away, it seems like a totally different mondo, world. It’s as if one has been transported back in time, enchanting and charming with it’s cobblestone streets (that unfortunately do a number on the feet without proper shoes), and old-fashioned appeal.
This was the second part of the trip, and we decided to spend three days here. This is the land full of tourists, I went back in October with my program, and although it was Christmas time, it was the same amount of tourists. It is a beautiful city, which is considered to be the founder of the Renaissance.
Grazie, to my lovely friend Gabriella who currently studies in Florence, for recommending tons of amazing things for my family and I to do. Ponte Vecchio was of course an immediate activity, and it’s a must! It was once a meat market, but however was changed into a gold market, as the royal Medici family, who once ruled, did not care for the scent, which could be smelt in the corridor at the top. This corridor was used for the royal family walk from Palazzo Vecchio, to their new palace Palazzo Pitti.
In the shops along this street you can find sparkling diamonds, cameos (it’s one of the many things Italy is known for), Medici coin jewelry. I walked by the windows, back and forth drooling over all the shining objects, after all diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Even if you can’t afford something from one of these shops, it’s fun to look, if you want to buy something it will cost you a pretty penny, errr I meant euro.
Palazzo Pitti is another must see, it is straight across from the Ponte Vecchio. It was once a palace of the Medici family, and of course is now a museum. Within this Palazzo, Palace, there is the Giardino di Boboli, a breath-taking garden with the best views of the entire city. The museum inside the palace has an exhibition in honor of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy; it was nice to see different artists from various regions of the country. There are many other museums within this palace, such as the Porcelain museum, and there is a costume gallery as well. We spent hours walking around, in-awe at how something so massive could’ve been constructed long ago.
Another must see that we visited was of course Duomo, one must never go a day without seeing a church in this country! We enjoyed having a walk inside. I also giggled at how I got “shushed” over a megaphone in several different languages; SILENZIO! They also had a nativity set up for Christmas. Church getting festive!
We also visited Galleria dell’Accademia, which is on Piazza San Marco. The famous David sculpture is there, I remember learning about it in art history, thinking it was kind of just another sculpture. When I saw it in person, I was beyond impressed. No photo does this sculpture justice. There is so much respect, and also astonishment that I have for Michelangelo, how someone could’ve carved that from a block of stone I may never know. Other sculptures in this museum are “The Slaves”, which were originally supposed to be created for the Pope’s tomb, but the Pope decided that Michelangelo should focus on the Sistine Chapel.
Meaning these particular works are unfinished, but I found them more appealing as opposed to something more refined and perfected. They were interesting, and allowed the viewer to see how Michelangelo worked as an artist, as well as the process he began with. Ok I’ll stop babbling! Basta! All in all, we had a ton of fun. And I could definitely visit Florence many many times and discover something new, such a beautiful city, filled with endless amounts of art. Here are some photos..
Taken from Ponte Vecchio at night!
Mio fratello e io
The carousel in Piazza della Repubblica
Someone's door to their house, I thought it inspiring!
A view from the Boboli Gardens
Inside of Duomo
A crucifix inside
Duomo from the outside
Davide at the Galleria dell'Accademia
For more info about the places we visited.. have a look at these various links! They give students that study within the European Union a discount at all of the historical places.