I am so sad I waited more than a year to write this post…but it is better now than never.
Last week I started reading a series of novels by Sylvain Reynard that reminded me of beautiful Florence, the city of the Medici Family, Michelangelo, Da Vinci and many more. I really do believe Italy is my soul country and sometimes I think of how my life would have been like if I lived there. Maybe I would have ended up being the next Dante or Botticelli (haha)..ah, but these are just dreams. However, I visited Florence last year on my birthday and I can just say I fell in love with the culture, the city and the atmosphere of the well-preserved, old buildings.
The first thing I found out was that people are very friendly and open up easily. We took a cab from the airport to the hotel and throughout our ride, the taxi driver was very talkative, giving us the starting informations about the city. I also found out that renting a flat in Florence can be quite expensive (just out of my own curiosity and my dream that maybe one day I’ll live there). I was so happy that the hotel we stayed in was just 5 minutes away from the old city centre, where il Duomo, the baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile outshined the other buildings.
I was mesmerized by how well such massives constructions from 1436 were preserved. Next day we went to discover what was inside the magnificent buildings. You can also climb to the top of the Dom and Campanile through a narrow passage of stairs (500!) and tunnels and admire the entire city of Florence! Although, I don’t advise those claustrophobic to take this journey; even I was a bit scared at the beginning haha. Another option for the panoramic view of the city is Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can also enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while admiring the surroundings!
One thing that struck me, and not only about the Dome, was how opulent everything is in Florence. Every single historic site or museum is full of famous paintings or sculptures dating from the early renaissance era. The architecture, mostly containing marble elements, is beautifully decorated with golden details. A must see on the list are the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Vecchio and Ponte Vecchio.
Tourist groups swarm through the city following their leader. He usually makes himself visible by holding up a flag. I remember our guide had a pirate flag; very funny, right?
Turning to the culinary aspects, the city has a great variety of restaurants with different cuisines to offer. Of course, it is always nice to eat the local food, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a serving of real pasta, pizza and seafood dishes? Prices can vary from cheap to expensive, depending where you choose to eat. The waiters stay outside every terrace, luring tourists to choose their restaurant. Everyone is so nice and amusing you don’t know which place to favor. Anyhow, wherever you go, you will be nicely served and satisfied. For the wine lovers out there, a must drink is a glass of Chianti wine. For those even more passionate about wine, you can also book a one-day trip from the city to visit different wineries all over Tuscany.
All in all (I have to stop here, otherwise I write a book about Florence), Florence is a romantic city, full of history and the home of some of the most renowned artists of all time. I would recommend visiting it in autumn when it is not so hot (I went in September and it was great). Even though such a long time has passed since I visited the city of Masterpieces, I can remember every detail about the journey and I miss it more and more everyday.