We were so excited to start our holiday with a day exploring Florence on foot. My friend Pip had wanted to visit for sometime, and although I hadn’t researched what to expect, I knew being in Italy that it would be full of grace and charm. We’d booked a full day tour to immerse ourselves in the history and culture of Florence.
It took approximately an hour to travel from the Queen Victoria to the centre of Florence. Our guide was very knowledgeable and so we had a few Renaissance facts up our sleeves by the time we arrived. We were going to cover the main sights in the historical center as well as having some free time to explore by ourselves. On this visit we didn’t have time to queue for museums or galleries but the time we spent in Florence, certainly gave us enough of a feel and appreciation for this fabulous Italian gem.
The first thing which struck us were the narrow streets filled with buildings covered in shutters and ornate lamps.
We made our way to Duomo, the Cathedral of Florence. We approached the side of the building as as we got near the magnificent dome started to reveal itself.
While standing at the front of the cathedral behind us was the Cathedral’s Baptistry which is one of the oldest buildings in Florence. The gilded bronze doors took 21 years to complete and Michaelangelo referred to them as the Gates of Paradise. When we visited work was being undertaken on the Baptistry and it was a shame that we couldn’t go inside.
Our next stop was the Ponte Vecchio, enroute we passed many buildings with coats of arms, churches, museums and at the Piazza Della Republica a wonderful carousel. There were also a few modern accompaniments.
Around the Ponte Vecchio was extremely busy but it is certainly worth being a little patient.
The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge in Florence.
In the opposite direction, from the Ponte Vecchio, is the Ponte Santa Trinita. On the day we visited the light on this bridge gave wonderful reflections in the River Arno.
We made our way through the Accdemia Gallery into the Palazzo Della Signoria.
As well as an equestrian statue of Cosimo-I-de-Medici.
After immersing ourselves with cultural facts from our guide, it was time to explore ourselves. After a light lunch to re-fuel and rest our feet we made our way back to the Ponte Vecchio. We walked down the side of the River Arno to the Ponte Santa Trinita and looked back on the Ponte Vecchio.
We took a wander into the Piazza Santa Trinita, which compared to the centre of Florence was lovely and peaceful.
We wanted to have another look at the Palazzo Della Signoria to see the Loggia dei Lanzi, a gallery of statues, which included Medici lions, and a bronze statue of Perseus, before we left Florence. It seemed everyone else had the same idea.
We’d really enjoyed our time exploring Florence on foot. Before we left to return to the Queen Victoria, there was just one last thing to do and that was sample the gelato.
We both agreed we’d like to come back for a long weekend to explore more.