In September I went to Florence (Firenze) in Tuscany, Italy for a few days. while I was there I did some journaling and I wanted to share some of it with you. I arrived in Florence around mid afternoon and took a bus from Pisa airport to Florence Train station where I got a taxi to my hotel. Once I got to my room, I unpacked and then showered so I would feel a little more refreshed.
On my first night I was going on a Dark Side Tour of Florence Tour which I had pre booked with Dark Rome Tours, who I totally recommend. We met outside the Louis Vuitton Store in Florence city centre.
Our guide was a lovely lady who spoke excellent English and she was very passionate and knowledgeable about her city. We walked along the cobbled and paved streets of this ancient city and heard the dark tales of the Medici family, a banking family of Florence during the 1500’s. Most of the palaces and piazzas in Florence were built by the Medici’s. In walking around the streets of this medieval city you could feel and sense its medieval history wrapped up into the stones that made up the Florentine architecture.
Our guide showed us a beautiful Medici House built by a member of this family for his beloved called Bianca, sometime in the 1500s. The building was beautiful, like a work of art and its style and the work that had gone into it when it was built showed how this particular Medici loved her. The fact that it is still standing today and is a beautiful piece of both architecture and art, is a legacy of this love he had for her.
Also on the tour we got to hear about some gruesome forms of punishment including how a man could be brutally skinned by ripping/cutting into two pieces. We also got to hear about some of the famous artists of Florence, commissioned by the Medici family. Whose works are now in the Uffizi Gallery which I was lucky enough to go round, not once, but twice during my stay in Florence. It is well worth a visit, believe me.
The tour finished with some Gelato, Italian ice cream, and if you don’t like ice cream, I promise you will when you sample some Italian ice cream. As I walked back to my hotel through Florence’s narrow streets I stumbled upon some really nice shop window displays.
When I got back to my hotel, I was tired, and so I bid good night to this magical city and looked forward to the next day.
The next day I took a taxi to the Uffizi Gallery where I had bought my ticket a few weeks before. I still had to queue but the wait was worth it, I spent around two hours in the art gallery looking at works of Giotto, by far my favourite work, the huge Icons he painted were stunning and also originally for the churches of Florence. You can view them here on my YouTube.
After I had been around the gallery I then followed the signs for the Duomo (Florence Cathedral) and slowly but surely I was beginning with the help of a map to get my bearings around this beautiful city. I didn’t go into the cathedral as the queues were too long, so instead I walked around the outside of it and appreciated its architecture and stunning artwork and frescos.
I then went to the Baptistery, located outside the front of the cathedral and gazed upon the famous bronze doors, these were apparently once gold.
Looking at the marble architecture of the Cathedral and Baptistery was just as wonderful as going inside, looking at the bronze doors was amazing, the art work so detailed and so life like, this photo does not do it justice. After I had been to look around the Cathedral square, I had some ice cream and then made my way to the church of San Lorenzo where I saw some beautiful artwork especially in the dome of the church and I also saw the tomb of the Medici family in the crypt.
On my final day in Florence, I had another visit to the Uffizi art gallery and decided to do some diary filming of the gallery because the art work was so stunning. I also visited the palace of Vecchio which is next door to the art gallery and was one of the Medici palaces. I had a walk around the court yard of this palace and then I walked back to my hotel. I finished the night off by going to a lovely restaurant for a meal of goats cheese and spinach stuffed ravioli in a cream cheese sauce, believe me, it was so tasty.
I totally enjoyed my stay in Florence and would recommend a visit to this beautiful Tuscan city to any one. I flew from Manchester and it took around two hours to get to Pisa Airport which is small but easy to find your way around. Getting the bus from the airport into Florence is easy, you just go out of the airport and turn to the right and the bus stop is literally about 100 yards away.
I stayed in a budget hotel, the only downside was that there was no air con, but other than that it was ideal for my needs. The hotel I stayed at was called the Malaspina Hotel and I have to say it was ideal for my needs They serve a continental style buffet breakfast which is very nice, all rooms are ensuite and so ideal for the solo traveller like myself.
You can fly to Pisa Airport from most U.K airports with some budget airlines such as Ryan air
If you want to stay in a hostel in Florence I did check one out and it was clean, and it seemed okay and it was right in the city centre so close to everything. You can check out hostels at Hostel World
I did not find Florence as expensive as I thought it would be, you can budget there if you want too, but as a major Italian tourist destination, It is going to be more pricier than normal. It is also a great base to travel around other Tuscan cities such as Pisa and Lucca.