27 degrees or so, what a fine day for adventure.
After catching our train over from Venice in the morning, we headed straight to our Airbnb to meet Andy and the small room we had paid to stay in – emphasis on small, but all of the essentials were there at least (some aircon would have been nice however coz jeez, I’m sitting here typing this after a shower, in underwear, and still sweating slightly).
After having a quick freshen up, we would begin our grand tour of Florence, first stop being the Galleria del Accademia, situated only a few blocks down from where we were staying, the tripadvisor reviews describe it as basically ‘Michelangelo’ s David, and some other stuff’, which is actually more or less how I would describe it as that too, there were some other very grand paintings here, and an entire room full of busts and sculptures (I think some were plaster replicas though) but the focal point of the gallery was definitely the gigantic statue of David – to the point where it almost feels like the building was built around the statue, as there’s a huge dome above it to allow it to be properly lit from every angle.
Next up was the Piazza del duomo and Cathedral of Santa Maria, the cathedral of Santa Maria was gigantic! You can spot it from miles off with the right elevation or if walking on roads with clear lines of sight, the cathedral also features a tower and baptistry building, all of which were equally huge. We wanted to go up the tower and see the cathedral, but tickets were entirely sold out for the next 5 days, imagine not even being able to buy a ticket for tomorrow, just to see the inside of a church. Gutted, but at thankfully the outside was impressive enough to not leave any aftertaste.
We’d continue our trip south, hitting the Piazza della signoria an it’s iconic buildings, though truth be told, we didn’t really do any research so no idea what was inside. There were loads of artists outside, some less convincing that others, but a few were doing oil and watercolour painting on the street and it was very cool to see.
Eventually we hit the river and followed it around to the iconic Ponte vecchio, by name alone you wouldn’t know it, but you’ll probably recognise it from pictures. Unbeknownst to me, the bridge is filled with jewelery shops with awesome old style shopfronts to complement the cobbled road. We enjoyed a slow stroll down the road, playing top 3 rings, in a badly veiled attempt to work out which style of ring I should definitely not buy should our relationship continue. Turns out she likes weird shaped rings where the material twists, and large diamonds – who would have guessed.
We’re still walking? my legs were already dead at this point, we had been walking for miles. Cordelia in her optimism or gusto decided we would go and see the gardens in the south of Florence – they were pay on entry (though thankfully half price for those 25 or under) and lead to an impressive gigantic hedge maze style garden with plenty of Statues interspersed to keep things interesting. The fountain at the bottom was pretty and surrounded by citrus though you couldn’t get up close or steal the fruit to eat unfortunately.
We’d slog it uphill for a while afterwards, Cordelia somehow powering through like some sort of trained mountain climber, while I slowly but surely plodded upwards – the pictures really don’t do the slope justice, it was very steep.
We’d find out why as we got to the top, a view of the city from the top of the hill, before a steep decline to the Palace gardens and grounds below. A slow walk back to the airbnb afterwards, followed by me passing out on the bed whilst taking a ‘quick break’.
Special mention to dinner which we had around 8pm after I woke up, a place called Fuocco matto, we were sat in a bar style area right in front of the Pizza making station, which was an unexpected treat for a foodie like me, spending dinner watching a team of 3 guys just pump out pizzas constantly from dough to stone oven to being finished off and seasoned – as we were sat in front we literally got the pizzas as fresh as possible, where the pomodoro had only just been bubbling half a minute earlier, it was goddamn delicious.