Florence is one city that is a perfect blend of architecture, history and music surpassed by natural Tuscan landscapes. The city is basically divided in two parts by river Arno. One side encompasses the rolling countryside region where the Florentine locals live amidst fresh air and the other side is the red roofed old architectural city swarmed with tourists all year round. We were in Florence for two days and our bed and breakfast was located along a hill in the middle of dense lush trees and winding pathways. As soon as we reached there we were lucky to find an excellent India restaurant within walking distance from our bed and breakfast.
We explored Florence just like a local and not as a tourist. Instead of taking any tour buses or guides to help us explore, we hopped on local buses for transport which was both cheap and efficient. The historical center of the city is the main area around which the churches, galleries, and shopping area are all at a walk-able distance. Piazza del Signoria was right around the corner when we reached the historical center of the city. It is the political hub of the city with various sculptures among which the most prominent ones are The Fountain of Neptune, David’s statue and the huge gold turtle. Next to the piazza square , stood The Uffizi gallery which is one of the most famous art museum in the world. After walking for a few minutes from the gallery, we stumbled into The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore which is the most noticeable church in Italy with a huge red duo-mo designed with Gothic style marbles. After strolling for a bit around the main center we headed back for lunch and a little afternoon nap after all the walking.
Me and my mom, as adventurous as we are, we walked back to the city to enjoy the beautiful evening after our power nap. We walked along the bridges over Arno river. The street musicians played soft music which was just perfect to listen to while the sun set. We went back to the Duo-mo to watch it while the sun set and we got a glimpse of the most amazing sight on our way back. We got to spot the Strawberry moon, which is a rare phenomenon when a full moon and a summer solstice coincide, the moon appears to be a large amber colored one. We were lucky to see it along the bank of the river Arno while all the tourists tried to capture the moon in their lenses. We were in the taxi and weren’t lucky enough to capture it but nevertheless we at-least got to see it.
After spending the first day at the tourist hub of the city, we wanted to explore the serene Tuscan hills the following day. We boarded a local bus to the Piazzale Micheangelo which is one of the highest points along the hills and the best spot to get a extensive view of the city. The river Arno flowing right in the middle of the city with the backdrop of the humongous Duo-mo surrounded by red roof topped old architectural buildings was a beautiful sight to enjoy. I clearly remember that day was international yoga day and I tried to get some clicks in different yoga poses while the tourists watched me go crazy.
After enjoying the sunshine along the hills, we headed towards the Ponte Vecchio bridge which is a medieval time arch bridge. It is very famous among the tourists for jewelry and art shops. We then munched on some delicious Chinese noodles at a Chinese restaurant by the bridge for lunch. After our lunch we were all set to grab our luggage and get ready for our train to Naples. All in all, we spent great time in the beautiful historical city and I would recommend it to the travelers who would love to explore an artistic city with rich history and background.
You also must be surprised to read that we ate Indian and Chinese food while we were in Italy but to be honest we were tired of Italian pizzas and pastas and wanted our taste buds to taste something different. Has this ever happened to you ? Do share , I would love to read!