We came through Florence last October and loved it: beautiful architecture, fantastic museums, even great running along the Arno. So when our friends Dan & Laura wanted to travel in Italy this year, there was no question that we’d come back. I mean, it’s Florence.
There’s not much new to say about the city; it didn’t change a lot in the last eight months. A big change for us, though, is that we were a lot more active with the Germains than we were on our own. We can be kind of lazy as we’re traveling around and don’t always get to all the tourist sites one should. And not that rarely we fail to make reservations in advance for key places like Da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan. When traveling with friends, though, who need to cram more stuff in on a time-limited vacation, we step it up a notch.
And so it was in Florence. Some of it we saw last year – the Duomo, the Baptistry, the Uffizi – but the big highlight for us was the the Grand Museum of the Duomo, something Dan bought tickets for before he left the States. Wow – what a tragedy that we’d missed it last year. Chock full of great art, along with a full-scale replica of the medieval facade of the Duomo before it was renovated in the 16th century renaissance style. Very cool.
And then there was that David guy. Again, one of those things for which you need to get tickets in advance. So we had tickets in advance. Mark & I have seen him before; we were here in 1995 and we’d both been there years before we met. Still, it’s a danged impressive piece that I probably enjoyed even a little more this time having just read Irving Stone’s biographical novel of Michelangelo, The Agony and the Ecstasy.
There was one noticeable difference in Florence: while there are a lot of tourists in Florence in October, there are A LOT of tourists in July. Oh my God. The historic core of the city is a pretty small area and there were just thousands and thousands of tourists everywhere. Next time we come here, we’ll do it off season.
We’re traveling with the Germains for two weeks; from Florence we go to Bologna, Venice, and Rome. So without a lot new to say about the city, here are a bunch of pictures.