With such high expectations of this place I was wondering if it was to deliver, and in some aspects it really did 100% and in others it failed miserably.
After a 2 hour train journey from Verona and I must say the trains in Italy are really good, not exactly cheap but they are quite luxurious in comparison to the UK and very quick we arrived in Florence late afternoon and after a great speech with a map from our hotel staff we worked out what were ‘must see’ and ‘maybe if we have time see’ quite quickly. The lady at our hotel described Florence as an ‘outdoor museum’ and she really wasn’t wrong. About 500m from our hotel was the Duomo and what a sight it was, even though it was just a giant dome there was something pretty special about it. After visiting the Vatican last year we said we would never need to step inside another church in our lives as we had seen ‘the’ church of all churches. We were of course wrong as this one was so much better! From the outside it was just magnificent and the dome was the inside well put the Vaticans dome to shame. There I said it!
The first evening was mainly spent exploring the big sites, like the David replica in the square (which by the way you cannot compare to the real thing) along with other great statues, the famous bridge which I didn’t particularly warm to and the night leather markets. Unfortunately we were let down with every meal in Florence. Is it too much to ask for food to be served on a plate that is not freezing? Clearly it was, the food was mediocre in every restaurant and the service appalling! We really did try to scope out an ‘authentic’ and ‘local’ restaurant but it was difficult.
The highlight of Florence was the real Michael Angelo’s ‘David’. Think of the best statue ever made by the best statue maker in the world and that’s pretty much it. We went to the Academia museum to see it and it was well worth the £6.50. I can’t really describe it but it’s brilliant. We stayed for about 30 minutes looking from close and afar and all different angles and you just can’t fault it in any way. Although I did ask this: Why did David (from David and Goliath) kill a giant in the nude? Unfortunately they don’t let you take photos so that’s why you must go and see it for yourself!
We walked up the tower of the cathedral to get a brilliant view of the city and of course the most famous thing in the city, the Duomo. We also had a night out, we found this great little bar with cheap drinks and we met another couple and had a brilliant night out.
Absolutely visit Florence but be aware of giant tourist groups of Japanese and very young Americans on school trips EVERYWHERE!
Have you been to Florence?