Enchanted by Florence – I

Enchanted by Florence.

Enchanted by Florence.

Art, architecture, history, beauty – we discovered all that and more in Florence, the capital of Tuscany. Florence finds itself on almost every tourist itinerary of Italy. We now know why.

We boarded an Italo train from Milano, and in about 2 hours, we were in the capital of Tuscany.

In the next couple of days, we were completely enchanted by the magic of the Renaissance city.

I must confess: We skipped the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia. Sacrilege, you think? Well, we will dedicate a separate trip to them (Yes, we will :)).

What did we do then?

Our favorite way to discover a new city is on foot. Sometimes, when the distance is too much, we take the bus (or funicular or cable car or tram). The metro is a rare choice.

And so, here’s what we did in Florence:

- Gazed at the Medici Chapels, history lessons came to mind. The Medicis…

Medici Chapel, Florence

Medici Chapel, Florence

- Headed to the Piazza del Duomo. Dozens of tourists dominated the square. Well, undoubtedly. We were captivated by Brunelleschi’s dome – on the inside and outside – and could not take our eyes off the beautiful frescoes and stained glass inside the Florence Cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore).

Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) of Florence

Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) of Florence

Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) of Florence

Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) of Florence

- Spent a great deal of time at the Piazza della Signoria. This square is like an outdoor art museum or gallery with a fountain of Neptune, a copy of David, etc. The Loggia dei Lanzi, in the same piazza, houses several other sculptures.

The Fountain of Neptune. At Piazza della Signoria, Florence.

The Fountain of Neptune. At Piazza della Signoria, Florence.

- Rode a bus across the Arno and up a verdant hillside to Piazzale Michelangelo. From here, the Florence skyline, dominated by its Duomo, appeared spectacular. And, as the sun gradually set, the hues gradually changed. It was as though we were watching an artist paint his favorite city.

A magical sunset at Florence. View from Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence.

A magical sunset at Florence. View from Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence.

- Spent several “sunny” hours at the beautifully-designed (and immense) garden, Giardino di Boboli. With sculptures, fountains, beautiful city views, and a well-landscaped garden, I could easily spend many an hour at this garden with just a book for company.

At the Boboli Garden (Giardino di Boboli), Florence

At the Boboli Garden (Giardino di Boboli), Florence

- Ate a relaxed lunch and enjoyed an afternoon passeggiata around the charming Oltrarno neighborhood. Enjoyed a yummy gelato at the quaint Piazza Passera.

- Ambled along the Ponte Vecchio, stopping to gaze at the windows of the gold jewellery stores.

We had a comfortable stay at Hotel Kursaal & Ausonia.

Oh yes, we’ll definitely be back in Florence very soon! :)