I always say that taking the chance to have a look around when at different ports on a cruise is like going to a buffet and being able to taste a variety of dishes. You get to have a “taste” of various places – and discover which are enticing enough to plan to re-visit some day (when time and finances allow!)
So, while four hours in Florence certainly wasn’t enough to do this city justice, it gave us a glimpse of this little gem and left us wanting for more. (Not so little actually, being the largest city in Italy’s Tuscany region.)
Top of my list to see was (not surprisingly) Ponte Vecchio (the Old Bridge), which fortunately was not too far away from our tour meeting place in Piazza Santa Croce.
We didn’t feel that we had enough time to visit any museums, so contented ourselves with seeing a copy of Michelangelo’s David en route, in Piazza della Signoria,
along with many other fascinating sculptures in the surprising open-air display of the arched Loggia dei Lanzi.
Ponte Vecchio did not disappoint, and the photos show off the gorgeous rich colour palette of many of the buildings in Florence.
During a welcome rest and a very Italian lunch of focaccia and chianti (followed by some decadent gelati) we observed how the locals like to stand at the bar to skull their coffee and go.
Once across the Ponte Vecchio I got a little disoriented – after all, lined with goldsmiths’ shops, it hardly feels like a bridge at all –
and blithely directed us towards a red domed building we could just see, thinking that it was the Duomo. But as we were on the wrong side of the river it only served to take us further away from our actual target, and seeing Florence’s Duomo will have to wait until our next visit!
But we are never lost, just somewhere we didn’t plan to be, and I always discover at least one great photo opportunity from our unplanned viewpoints.
I never tire of absorbing the history of Europe, represented in part by the amazing art and architecture. The Renaissance period is my favourite and Florence is considered its birthplace. No wonder it held such appeal for me.
Perhaps next time we will get to spend four days in Florence instead of just four hours.