“The most beautiful city of Italy” I was told by many “Go to Florence” and that is exactly what I did.
Turns out I wasn’t the only one that had gotten that advice; Florence was the tourist hot spot of Italy. It was the only day in Italy where I heard more English from surrounding people than Italian. Shop owners would immediately talk English to you when they heard your accent and all the signs were in both English and Italian.
“Can you please take a photo for me” said a American tourist,
“No problem, could you do one for me as well” I answer,
“Wow – you have great English, where did you learn it from” the American answered.
That’s not the only time I got comments like that. With my dark hair, dark eyes and olive skin I was immediately thought of as an Italian. If they thought my English was good – they should of heard my Italian, HA! It is not the place to go if you want to learn Italian, although is the perfect place to go if you want to see Italy.
The city is a museum of architecture, every step and direction in which you wander around. It is full of Piazza’s and monuments that would keep you busy for days. Unfortunately for me I was only there for a day, so I did the quick sightseeing version of the city. Florence is definitely a place in which I may live for a couple of months on my gap year.
Everything is in walking distance, so with a good pair of shoes you are set for a day of sightseeing. All of the streets are full of Italian culture; gelatarias every 10 metres, atmosphere and drop dead amazing buildings (and Italian boys). Each of them had a huge history behind them and was crawling with wide eyed tourists. Markets were sprawled over all the streets, all trying to sell the same thing – leather.
Licking a gelato at the bottom I scanned the Duomo; staring to the top, my eyes ran across the dazzling decorated windows, up the walls of such beauty and detail and landed on tiny people standing at the top. Half an hour later I was one of those tiny people, this time with the view over the wonderful city. All it took was 5 euro and the craziest stair case of all time. Spiraling stairs, with the width of less than a meter led me towards the top. The endless circling of the stairs was only the beginning. Walls were going on different angles, making me do acrobatics to ascend up the Duomo. Parts of the old crumbling staircases were going up nearly fully vertically and my hands were grasping the rails tighter than ever. The view was exquisite, especially with the golden glow setting over the city. It is my favourite place in the city and in my opinion has a better view than from the Eiffel Tower.
I had a lovely day exploring the city. Spending time browsing through shops selling Italian masks, Pinocchio’s, and anything else carrying the colours of green, white and red. Walking on cobble stone streets full of culture and bustling with people enjoying their day. Tasting the various flavours of gelati. Visting places that made you want to cry of happiness. Architecture so amazing that you could even look at the rubbish bin standing as a city monument.
Florence is a definite must on any travellers bucket list and one of my favourite cities. It screams Italy! It screams adventure! It screams good time!