Yep, I was definitely fascinated by Florence….😎
The City of Firenze in Italy, originated as a Roman city when it was founded by the Romans in the 1st century BC. But it was politically, economically & culturally one of the most important cities in Europe from the 14th to 16th centuries whilst under the rule of the Medici. Now the city is known as the capital of the Tuscany region. It’s home to such magnificent Renaissance architecture & many artwork masterpieces, to such a degree, that it’s widely considered as the ‘Athens of the Middle Ages’.
For all of its beauty, Florence has had a very turbulent past with a political history that includes that era of rule by the powerful Medici family & it has also suffered at the hands of numerous religious revolutions. Nowadays the cool city of Firenze is still a bustling place of art & science, alongside its great commerce, craft & industry, all with the added benefits of a very diverse culture.
The city has a population of about half a million inhabitants & it attracts millions of tourists each year. It has been ranked in ‘Forbes‘ as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Firenze is positioned between the Adriatic & the Tyrrhenian seas, & almost bang in the centre of the Italian Peninsula.
The city is easily accessible from most destinations in Italy with its great railway station being on the main national line. I booked a six day trip to Florence as I thought that would be sufficient time to explore & conquer it. After the 3rd day, it was then that I realised that Firenze can be both explored & conquered in about three days. So, for the other remaining three days I became a little bored & had a difficult time figuring out what else to do to pass the time.
Everything was still cool in Florence, until I had another full-blown confrontation on foreign soil. I was in this tiny shop buying some cigarettes when the guy behind the counter decided to have a bad attitude & I could tell it was because he didn’t particularly like the English. That’s nothing new, I thought. But Talk about an arsehole….
This Italian tit really didn’t want me in his shop as I bounced inside feeling bored and looking for some entertainment & excitement, which I found by nicely pushing my way to the front of the queue. With that natural English action, he made it quite clear that I wasn’t welcome in his tiny tobacco shop by giving it the big Mafioso thing. He quickly became very abrupt & slightly aggressive. So, I responded to his aggressive attitude with one of my own. I said, “Hey arsehole, who do you think you’re talking too? Yeah, yeah, us English don’t like Italians either you f£€king eggplant.”
That statement must of riled & vexed his attitude problem even more & he quickly replied by slamming my change on the counter & shouting, “F$£king English pig, out, out, get out of my shop…!” With that outrageous statement, I picked up the cigarettes & the begrudged change, (no way was I tipping this tit), then I stormed out whilst shouting more English obscenities his way. With Don who the f$£K Firenze shouting something in Italian about his friend of a friend in Florence.
Now I hope this true story doesn’t offend any other Italian, because I think they’re great & their hospitality was awesome throughout my trip. But that tobacco guy deserved it. I still don’t know what I did to make him kick-off like he did. But… I have come to realise that most foreigners don’t really like the English. Maybe it’s because of the beach resort mayhem or the fact that we’re leaving the European Union, or something like that? It’s a shame that this incident had to happen, because I was on my best behaviour with so many religious folk about. But I suppose it did supply some much-needed excitement for the day, & after I had a world-famous Italian ice-cream to cool down from the confrontation. It was high-time to visit that bridge, the one that is famous around the world for its designer jewellery shops & crazy little box-houses which are actually habited by some of the funny folk of Firenze.
It’s the oldest & most-well-visited bridge by both the awesome locals of Florence & by tourists from all over the globe. ‘The Ponte Vecchio Bridge’ spans the stretch of the Arno River.
Yep, the bridge is very nice…. I travelled everywhere around Florence & took hundreds of snaps to satisfy the humble blog & I’ve realised that I just take photos of anything & everything. I currently have what feels like thousands of pics from Italy, & I’m struggling to place what they are, or where I’m actually at, at that particular time.
As you can see, the cathedral is an awesome work of art…!
I was in awe when I first seen it. The area is really boxed-in, so when it appears out of nowhere it looks magnificent. You can really feel the power that Christianity & ‘the church’ had way back in the day. It’s an amazing building, I wanted to investigate & check it out some more, but there was no way that I was standing in the ridiculously large queue to go inside, so I took some super-snaps of the outside instead. Florence cathedral was built in a classic Gothic style & it was created in 1296, although it took until 1436 to be structurally completed. It’s officially the design of Arnolfo di Cambio, but the specialised dome was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is covered with polychrome marble panels, in different shades of mainly green with pink & white outlines.
‘The Duomo’ as it’s so often called, is truly magnificent & the piazza with the Octagonal Baptistery are the centrepieces of the ancient city of Firenze. The cathedral dominates the entire city & it can be seen for many miles. It was consecrated by Pope Eugenius IV, & it’s one of the largest Roman Catholic church’s in the world.
There are many interesting places to visit while in Florence. Every corner that you take has something worth seeing &/or doing. There are statues of Roman emperors & Christian clergyman or Popes, EVERYWHERE…..! But I still had a great time exploring Firenze because it really is a nice place. However, after six long days it was time to move on & continue my journey around the great country that is Italy.
Until next time folks, take it easy…!
The cool city of Firenze can be explored & conquered in three days not six.
Accommodation is very reasonably priced in all areas, but try to book nearer the residential end & you’ll save loadsa money.
Learning several essential phrases in Italian will keep you in good stead, as in certain parts, especially the side-street shops & the residential areas, nobody seems to understand a word of English. Or, they pretend not too anyway.
Do make time to visit the local markets, there are some awesome street entertainers on show & some of the hand-made souvenir products by the locals are fantastic.
The city of Firenze is made to walk around, not bus or taxi’s everywhere. There are so many side-streets that offer different experiences & a wide range of cultures, it would be a shame to pass them by without knowing what can happen if you do walk down the right street 😉