Mon 2 Jul 12 - Thu 5 Jul 12
The minute I stepped out of the airport, I realized just how beautiful Florence was. Pictures of it do not do it justice. The minutes I got to Florence, I wanted to start exploring the beautiful city, but first I had to stop at my hotel to drop off my luggage. The hotel where I stayed was called Il Bargellino. It was very basic, a single room and it didn’t even have a private bathroom, but it was fine for the few days I was going to spend there. The basic room was only € 45.00 or $58 CAD a night, meaning my hotel stay cost me $174, so that is the reason I chose the hotel. I quickly put my luggage away and left to see the city.
My first stop was the Piazza della signoria, Florence’s most important square. The square is decorated with statues by some of the most famous Florentine artists, such as the statue of David. Although these statues are copies and the originals have been moved inside for preservation, it is still amazing to see such beautiful sculptures. Beside these statues is the site of the infamous bonfire of the vanities, when thousands of books, painting, musical instruments other objects that were deemed sinful were burned under the control of Friar Savonarola. A year later the pope was executed in a similar bonfire, also in the piazza della signora. Although quite morbid, it is very interesting to see where this occurred.
Next, I went to Ponte vecchio, the 14th century bridge over the river Arno. It is very beautiful and is lined with many nice stores, most of them jewellery stores. It is nice to just walk around and look at the beautiful bridge, so beautiful that even the Nazis didn’t want to blow it up. In WWII, the Nazis were blowing up bridges to slow down the allies, but they left Ponte Vecchio because it was so nice.
The next day, I decided to go to the duomo, also known as the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The duomo is the most recognized symbol of the city and I now understand why; it is so beautiful. Inside there are works of art, stain glass windows, frescos and, of course, the dome. After almost 500 steps up, you can go to the top of the dome and see an amazing view of the city
Next, I went to st. Johns baptistery, believed to be one of the oldest buildings in all of Florence. The baptistery is right next to the duomo, in the duomo complex. The baptistery, best known for its bronze, doors is beautiful. The doors are decorated with expertly carved depictions of biblical scenes. The next stop I made was to the bell tower, also in the duomo complex. The bell tower, decorated with white, pink and green marble, is very tall. I climbed the bell tower as well, and once I got to the top I was very tired and trying to catch my breath, but the view was so breath taking that I was having trouble doing so. You could see so much of the city, as well as the duomo from the high view
On my last day in Florence, I decided to go to an art museum, and I chose Accademia. admission was only € 6.50 or about $8 CAD. Accademia was an art school for more than 200 year and has many beautiful works of art. The main attraction of this museum is the statue of David, this time it is the real statue, rather than the copy in the piazza della signoria. All the works of art are very stunning and the statue of David is quite impressive. After seeing the copy, it was amazing the finally see the real statue.
After the museum, I went to the piazzale Michelangelo. The square is on top of a hill and gives a spectacular view of the city. The square, which is dedicated to the sculptor Michelangelo, has copies of some of his most famous statues, like the statue of David (another one) and the four allegories of the Medici Chapel of San Lorenzo. There is also a picturesque rose garden, which I walked through while eating gelato, which was very nice and relaxing. Sadly, this was my last day in Florence, but I am glad that my last day was so enjoyable. Tonight I am leaving Europe and going to the Middle East, and my first stop is Egypt, so I am very excited for that
Alitalia – 7:20p FLR -> 8:15p FCO
Egypt Air - 2:00p FCO -> 5:15p CAI
total cost: $700