A day in Florence

Suzanne Barney on 05 June 2018
We have had the opportunity to visit Florence before but the '10 hour' day trip put us off so we spent the day in a Livorno instead which in all honesty isn't a pretty town. So this time we decided that it was worth our while.

The ship had to relocate to La Spezia which is a military port due to a change in the weather so maybe just as well! This added an extra hour onto our travelling time but in all honesty the coach journey to Florence is quite scenic. It is very lush and green, and you can see why people love Tuscany. My interest in Florence started after having watched the film 'Tea with Mussolini', the most famous film made here is 'Room with a view'.

As we were visiting Florence on a Sunday which should have been a 'quiet day' I was looking forward to wandering around the backstreets and enjoying the ambience. However, it was the '10km DJ race ' so we shared Florence with 12,000 people in Lycra! This made wandering the city a little tricky as some of the roads were closed off for the runners and it was a bit chaotic. Florence has 7 million visitors a year so is always busy. If you want to do the museums of Florence I would advise taking a 3-day break as you can’t do it in a day unless you like queuing.

We had a short guided tour around the main sites and then free time to have a look around ourselves. The city is mostly pedestrianised and isn't large with the Duomo, the main cathedral, a good point of reference if you get lost. The history of Florence is a lot to do with the Renaissance movement so the whole city feels like a work of art with fountains, sculptures and statues everywhere. There are 70 museums and I didn't go in one! On the other side of the Arno you find lots of lovely gardens.

The Ponte Vecchio bridge which crosses the river doesn't feel like a bridge at all as it is adorned with jewellery shops and just feels like another street. As well as art Florence is famous for its leather shops and ice cream. My hubbie purchased a lovely soft leather jacket (and not that expensive) plus we had an ice cream from the gelateria which lived up to its billing. I think I need to go back to Florence and see it properly a day isn't enough but it gave me a taster of how beautiful it is.