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Florence Travel Blog

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Ponte Vecchio

I made it to Florence yesterday and I love it here. Now, this is not my first time in this city. My sister and I visited for a day about four years ago during a stopover on the way to Germany. However, it was a Monday so we could not get into any museums. I managed to catch sight of the David while standing by a door of the museum, but only saw from the waist down - not bad.  Anyway, so now I am making up for that disappointment.

First off, my hostel is way nicer. I am sharing a room with one other gal and we have our own bathroom, which is nice.  The gal is a violinist from Washington who teaches out of her house and opted out of the  orchestra route for many reasons, so I have been grilling her about that since my sister Jen and I get season tix to our orchestra at home.

Cathedral di Santa Maria Del Fiore - the Duomo
  Anyway, I finally met another traveler again, and will have a dinner companion tonight!

Yesterday I went to see how long of a line to get into the Accademia to see David once and for all, and it was long! I pondered what to do thinking I could wait and get reservations, but as I was standing there on a street next to the museum, some folks emerged from a side door of the museum and there he was, this time a view of him from top to toe! OK, so it's not the same, but I hear that's really the only thing to see in there, so I've decided at this point that I am only meant to see the Statue of David from the outside(plus saves me 10 euro). 

After that I checked out a special exhibit featuring Cezanne, along with some Van Gosh, Matisse and others featured during the 1910 Worlds Fair.

View from Piazza Michelangelo
  Wasn't worth it.  Then I crossed the Ponte Vecchio, which apparently was built as a safe crossing for the Medici family who wanted to avoid possible attacks (overheard today) although now it is home to gold mania, and then I trekked up to the Michelangelo Piazza, that is the current site of a huge portable stadium, which sits right where the good views of the city are...bummer.  Good thing I saw the full view last time.  I did finally buy some new sunglasses off someone after much bargaining - I'd broken mine in Naples

Today I waited in line 2 1/2 hours to get into the Uffizi.  Due to the number of galleries that were closed, my wait was longer than my visit, but I saw Botticelli's Birth of Venus and Spring, works by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Rembrandt, among others, but no stolen photos.

Another view of the City
  After that I sat in the piazza nearby and enjoyed some music courtesy of a street performer.  Unlike Ireland and even England, none of the museums are free, so I am trying to be choosy about where to visit.

Having said that, I've decided to pay what is to me an obscene amount of money for a day tour tomorrow of Tuscany, which will bring me to Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti and Pisa, but it includes lunch, guides and such.  I figure, if I tried to hit all those on my own, I'd spend more. 

Each place I hit in Italy seems better than the last!  Florence is a great city, although it seems the tourists outnumber the actual residents right now.  The police are really friendly- they actual stroll the streets with the people and give directions.  The views are fantastic from various parts of town.  I am definitely glad I found time to return.

 

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Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio
Cathedral di Santa Maria Del Fiore…
Cathedral di Santa Maria Del Fior…
View from Piazza Michelangelo
View from Piazza Michelangelo
Another view of the City
Another view of the City
Florence
photo by: monky