‘I got off the bus at 5 am this morning. It was an overnight ride and I am now spending another 4 hours on the bus to Rome to catch my flight home. I am tired, but for Florence, it’s totally worth it.’ A pretty good summary from one random traveler I met isn’t it?! Everyone loves Florence.
I LOVE FLORENCE!
This is the city where you can do fashion, architectures, arts, music, food, boat ride, photography, nightlife altogether. What’s exceptional about Florence is the combination of the Renaissance history and architecture that sweeps off your feet, which no single iconic site in other cities can bring about such captivating effect.
Turn over the Lonely Planet, Florence Cathedral, Uffizi Gallery, Piazzale Michaelangelo, Ponte Vecchio and tons of other landmark give you plenty of reason to visit this beauty. I didn’t look at anything at all, so my love to it is not based on any affection for arts or reputation from other people.
It’s the truest feeling to what the city has offered.
Believe it or not, even though I (or you) don’t need a reason to go back to Florence, it’s always a great motive to leave something undone then you can never tick that out of your bucket list.
What I did is very simple: wander around, have a gelato, have a beer, take photos, explore the markets, stop by amazing musicians and just listen to them and sunbathe outside Palazza Pitti.
No doubt that Florence is an expensive city, compared to Venice, Rome, Verona and other major cities (not Milan of course, the most expensive city in Italy). Say a cone of gelato cost you 10 euro?! That maybe just a tip of iceberg, someone is trying to reap the rich, however, most of other things are slightly on the pricey side as well. (Let me tell you where’s cheaper, Pisa, but it has less to offer.)
This doesn’t even shed a tiny bit of my love for Florence.
Though I promised myself to only spend 10 euro daily for food, I failed right at the beginning of the round-the-Italy tour. See? If you are in Italy, and you save money from food, you are totally wasting your time in Italy. A cup of expresso in the morning, bread for breakfast, pasta or pizza and a glass of white wine for lunch, gelato as dessert, then another glass followed by more glass and….
You do the math how much should one spend on food daily.
Plus there are evil things in Florence that you cannot resist when you are done with eating. MERCATO.
So I ended up in Mercato Centrale for my lunch, and though it was good, environment-wise and food-wise, you can definitely turn your head to the markets outside to look for more down-to-earth and special food stalls. I remember there’s a seem-to-be-good stall selling Taiwan food which creates a small little crowd around. But by the time I came across this, I was already full. Always go for the alleys and open markets to look for the most delicious and genuine Italian/good food.
My mum used to say ‘you will understand when you are older’ for everything I claimed to be not making sense. Silly small talk rhetorical questions about what the person you actually see him doing is one of them, human’s liking for leather is another. Soaking in the markets in Florence is the perfect answer to the childhood wonder.
It felt like I’ve been drop down to a giant palette where azure leather jacket hanging out of a small shop on a side meets the orangey leather notebook handmade by the craftsman at the stall, which is adjacent to the rosewood red brogues stall and opposite to the camel wallet and leather goods. And I was walking though with a cup of pistachio gelato in hand.
So did I buy anything? Nope, cus I’m not sure what is a good leather jacket and how much do they usually cost. I better head for a glass of white wine.
The magic happened when I reached Ponte Santa Trinita. This is not the overwhelming Ponte Vecchio you and your friend and family would have heard of, but it is the one overlooking the Vecchio.
What appeared in front of my eyes is the exact same picturesque, oil painting-like, instagram-friendly view of three bridges tying up two sides of the Renaissance five stories buildings across the Arno river, of which the little glitters and pre-sunset light completes the whole romantic scene.
Mr Rabbit seems to not care about his job also in such elegant frame of artwork.
However, if you’ve got more time, I still recommend getting to the top of the Florence Cathedral to grab the whole picture of Florence, to Piazzale Michaelangelo for the panoramic view, inside Palazza Pitti for the royal fantasy in Renaissance times. On top of that, take the 1-hour train to Pisa for the leaning tower and most excitingly, drive to the Tuscany countryside to experience the best of Italy!
Have you also been to Florence? Is it your favourite city in Italy as well? Hope you enjoy the Italian beauty! xx