Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Welcome to Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy is home to renowned museums and artwork, gelato, simply prepared food, breathtaking views, and more. I visited Florence for several reasons. I love Italian food, heard of the artwork and statues, and RyanAir flew cheaply into Pisa which is a 50-70 minute train ride from Florence. The benefits of traveling blind is that you discover treasure in the most unlikely places.
The first surprise was the Firenze Gelato Festival. How did they know I was visiting? Apparently, Florence (Firenze) is gelato's birthplace. Over the 2 days I visited, I enjoyed 15 different full-sized flavor samples. Yes, I came back fatter. More on this later.
Delectable pasta with Chianti will also tempt you at small neighborhood cafes tucked near scenic gardens. Read more about Chianti wine here.
You try to balance between the gelato and pasta, but then discover their cheeses, specifically burrata. Osteria Marco meet Osteria Il Cantinone. You got served mainly due to their extremely generous portions.
Mmmmm. Second dessert - meat candy. I tried to decide between my travel budget, the Cinta Senese Prosciutto (€120/kilo), or the Spagnolo Pata Negra Prosciutto (€150/kilo). I asked for 25 grams of each. From the gentleman's demeanor I thought he was irritated at my small request. I got two slices of each free. Thank you! Thank you! This picture depicts the Cinta Senese which tasted of spiced fruit, olive oil and a slight peppery finish. The unpictured Spagnolo was more buttery, some spice finish, and the fat was slightly oily in a good way.
All this food meant much walking. Here are statues at Loggia dei Lanzi.
 A selection of Florence's random religious art. When walking their streets, look up often. You might find unexpected gems.
I fell in love with the Tuscan colors, primarily this yellow. It's a gorgeous city and it's fun to hear Italian.
Florence has many museums. I chose to visit the Museo Galileo. It's home to the vast scientific collections of the Medici and Lorraine family. The ingenuity of our predecessors is extraordinary. Go there to witness their creativity, engineering feats, and art of their scientific pursuits. Galileo is around the corner from the famous Uffizi Gallery. If you want to visit Uffizi, reserve your tickets and bypass their intimidating line.
They also have a rabid bike culture. You must look out for bicycles, scooters, and cars when crossing the street (do you see the man sleeping on his?). They also have a bicycle only paths. Thumbs up to you, Florence.
Besides being a nice view, click for an enlarged image to notice the innovative sunbathers. When surrounded by buildings blocking your sun time, concrete across the River Arno provides the solution.
There is much fashion to be found here also, including Ferragamo and it's accompanying museum.
My Florence visit was brief but busy. I walked a lot, dined a lot, ate too much gelato, and enjoyed their landscapes. I found it a great city to visit and would like to visit again. There are more museums to explore, many more side streets, and they have hills that tempt my hiking needs. I will leave you with a final video filmed on the Ponte Vecchio bridge.

No comments:

Post a Comment