Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A rainy weekend in Florence

A wet weekend was forecast for Milan, so we decided to visit the art galleries in Florence.  Decades ago, during our "backpacking years", Stefano and I independently visited Florence. My memories are of the incredible Duomo, the spectacular Uffizi gallery and the delicious gelato. Stefano remembers flying through chaotic traffic on the back of his friend's motorbike, the picturesque bridges over the Arno river and the art galleries that he didn't visit. We weren't quite sure that the Florence of 2014 would live up to our memories, but it did, almost.

The beauty of the Duomo by night,
and by day, was just as spectacular as my memory from 1986.

The Ponte Vecchio was just as charming when viewed from a distance,
but still not so quaint, when crossed by foot.

The colours of Florence hadn't faded over the past twenty something years
 and the restaurants are even cosier.

There are still too many galleries to visit in one weekend
and too many spectacular gardens, reminding us that two days will never be long enough in Florence.
We weren't the only ones who thought that seeing the art galleries and churches of Florence would be a pleasant way to spend the weekend!

Now we've made new memories.
It is worth paying extra for the "skip the queue" tickets, rather than wasting precious hours standing in line to visit the Uffizi. But, there's no way to avoid the crowds inside.  They will be almost as memorable, as the beautiful Botticelli paintings.
At the Palazzo Pitti, set in the magnificent Boboli gardens, there were no queues, or crowds. It is an enormous palace which houses several galleries.  While the artworks might not be as famous as those in the Uffizi, the lavish interiors conjure a picture of the decadence for which the Medici dynasty is remembered.

Sadly, Florentine gelato remains a distant memory. Although we searched high and low for Gelateria dei Neri, supposedly the best gelateria in Florence, 
when it was finally located, it was closed! 

That convinced us that another trip to Florence for more memory testing must be completed before we leave Italy.

Dove è la primavera? Spero è tornare questa settimana.


  1. I've been several times and love it. I went to Florence with a friend in January and enjoyed it without crowds for the first time ever! I was actually able to sit in front of the Botticelli without 10 tour groups tromping through. I plan to take my family for a weekend next winter, however in January my favorite gelato spot was closed for a winter break. I haven't been to the Palazzo Pitti, but hope to go on my next trip. :) -Heather

  2. Heather,
    That's a great tip to visit Florence in January, but the downside is that so many of the gelato shops close at that time. Oh well, I think it would be worth it. Yes, Palazzo Pitti is lovely. We will do the gardens next time. Ciao, Jenny