Last weekend I ventured up to Florence for a weekend trip in the capital of the Renaissance. I took Megabus, a transportation line known for affordable travel; the experience was pleasant, efficient, and comfortable. I listened to a couple podcasts and looked out at the Italian countryside until sunset. Go Megabus!
My B&B was a bit quirky, as is expected with Bed and Breakfasts, but this place took quirky to a new level. My room was themed Dante’s Inferno…and as such, had a ridiculous amount of red and paintings of Dante. Welcome to Florence/Hell?
The next morning, I woke up super early to grab breakfast and start my day before the museums got too crowded. I got a Firenze Card which saved me valuable time waiting in line for tickets and museum entrances. This allowed me to visit all the must-see museums and churches in Florence in a short amount of time. I really recommend getting this if museums are your priority and you can spare a little bit more money. The first gallery I visited was the Uffizi Gallery, housing works by da Vinci, Michelangelo, and my favorite of the museum, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.
After that, I headed to the Galleria dell’Accademia where the statue of David is housed.
Because I had the Firenze Pass, I thought I should check out a few museums that I normally wouldn’t spend time in. I decided to go to the National Archaeological Museum because it housed many Etruscan pieces that I learned about in one of my classes in UCEAP Rome. (Note: these weren’t the Etruscan pieces but I found them beautiful.)
Next, I headed to Dante’s old home, now converted to a museum that displays relics from his life, recreations of his stories, as well as other preserved works of art.
On my climb up the 400 steps of Giotto’s Bell Tower, I stumbled upon something gross. Elena, I hate whoever loves you and wrote this. There’s a ridiculous amount of pointless graffiti like this throughout national monuments in Italy and it really needs to stop. After I cooled down about Giotto’s Bell Tower, I made my way over to the Duomo. There, I climbed 463 steep steps to the top of the church. It was raining when I climbed, making the enormous trek more bearable because of the spurts of wind coming through. As difficult as the climb was, the view of Florence was totally worth it.
Florence is especially beautiful during and after it rains. It was so cute to see all the little umbrella people from high up in the Bell Tower or walking around. It made the medieval town more colorful.
Later that afternoon, I went to The Boboli Gardens, a beautiful park situated behind the Pitti Palace created in the 16th century. It was a very welcome break from scaling the mountain of a church that is the Duomo.
It’s often said that things are more beautiful from far away than up close; I think the same is true about the Ponte Vecchio. Walking one of the original bridges of Florence, was dizzying due to the traffic from high-end jewelry shops. They cluttered up the bridge and seemed out of place to me.
I ended my two days in Florence with the best possible thing: food. I had a typical Tuscan meal complete with pizza, wine, and an assortment of cheese with honey drizzled over it. Now back to Rome!