Visiting the top sights of Firenze
Florence Travel Blog› entry 2 of 12 › view all entries
Oh God what a weird hotel! It felt more like a home, a stranger's home? The room was clean, but kind of... a bit too unprofessional looking to be a hotel. During the night, I suddenly ran out of breath and opened the door just to breathe in some fresh air. I woke up around 8a that morning, it was sunny and breezy and a bit chilly. But I did know that I'm going to like it.
I decided against paying 10 Euro at the hotel for b'fast, and instead opted to have it outside somewhere, after all time WAS precious. Grabbed my DK eyewitness city map, and with the weather like this, something told me I won't be needing my jacket or my umbrella. The city, at least the centre seems very easy to navigate. Today was dedicated to just sightseeing around Firenze, and as any first timer would do.
The climb to the top of the Duomo was a bit...erm.. tricky! You first stop by to see the painted ceilings, and then continue to the very top. This place was a feast for the photogs. Early morning, bright sunshine, clear skies, trust me...you really couldn't ask for better. I spent about 30 minutes here, took tons of panoramic pictures (I started panicing at one point that my memory card might run out of space), met tons of nice strangers (all yanks), and got down around 10am. Spent some time around this area again, taking pictures. My favourite was the one with the bronze doors. The pictures basically represent scenes from the New Testament: Annunciatnion, Adoration and Christ debating the elders in the temple with all of this story flowing in bronze.
From here, I walked to a place that one of the guys I met atop the Duomo had recommended - Piazza Michelangelo. This is another postcard spot, as you can see from the pictures. The very first walk itself, and I could see both the gelato and the pizza stalls selling and promoting like crazy. But this was another spot just crying for pano shots (memory, memory!! I need more gigs), and I walked back around 1130am right in time for my appointment @ the Uffizi Gallery. Before this, I had my first Italian pizza! It wasn't anything spesh though, I'll tell you that.
The Uffizi ticketing system is a bit weird... you first stand in the queue for the prebooked tickets, and then you go to another door for the "pre booked" visitors.
I finished off around 2pm, and headed out for some more pictures around the Duomo area.
From here on, the next spot, and one of my favourites was the Baptistry. My God this is brilliant! Those portraits on the wall, on the ceiling, each telling a different story. Something that people don't realise about this place is that it has an Islam influence too, what with the tiling on the floor being done in an Islam prayer mat kind of way. From here, the next stop was the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. This is quite pricey for the stuff that's inside. But I did enjoy seeing the Pieta which was never completed by Michelangelo.
From here, it was... well back to the Duomo but this time, to the tall tower - Campanile where I wanted to get more shots of the city as well as the Duomo building itself. Spent about 30 minutes here - more of the same (kind of pictures) but still enjoyed it. I think the weather, and the fact that the whole city was clay tiled made the experience really appealing.
Continued walking along the main touristy area, peeped in to a bunch of churches (but let's be honest, see one and you've seen them all). And I decided that it was time to HEAD OUT of Firenze, onto the very pretty Fiesole.