Perfect Pizza, Piazza and People
16.01.2007 - 20.01.2007
I have just spend four days wondering around in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, so much so that it's a shame to leave. Florence has stolen my heart and I doubt that any city can every match it. Florence was my first taste of Italy, the land where my grandfathers family had come from generations before, creating an almost intrinsic link between myself and Italy.
I arrived in Florence in the middle of the night so my first impressions may not have been the greatest, but as soon as the sun rose the next morning I was in love with the city. The streets were filled with character and history, and most of the people were helpful and friendly. And the city has so much to see and do, that another week there would have been great.
I headed first to the legendary Galleria Academia to get a glimpse of the man, the statue of David by Michaelangelo. I had not expected it to be that enormous - imagining it to be lifesize, not that size of Godzilla. It absolutely amazed me and it only compounded my love for Florence. I then headed to the other gallery the city had to offer, the Uffizi, that although not defined by an individual piece, extraordinary just the same, the Birth of Venus a highlight. And then it was off to the Duomo - an extraordinary building with a hell of a lot of stairs! But all 414 steps were worth it for the view alone - I have never seen such a beautiful city from above and the image is emblazened on my mind forever.
While this far north I could not miss the chance to take a day trip across to Venice, but after the beauty of Florence, I had expected so much more and left a little disappointed. The canals were dirty, the sky overcast, and the prices exorbitant. Yes it had the gondolas but a single tourist could never afford to take one, and the city is filled with pigeons which I dont find cute or amazing.
So it was then back to Florence to improve my image of Italy. I hightailed it to the Palazzo Vecchio to check out the ancient powerhouse of Italy and then walked across the Ponte Vecchio admiring all the shiny jewelry. But that was all I had time for. I left Florence for Rome, knowing in my heart that no city could ever match that feeling of being in a place that was close to perfection.