Our original plan was to spend a couple of nights in Siena then hop north to Firenze for another couple of nights. Firenze Airport however couldn’t accomodate us unless we wanted to pay €100 a night. On top of that the email correspondent indicated “Siena was nice anyway”. Taken that as Firenze’s way of saying get lost we went to Siena.
Not wishing to miss out on Firenze we took the train. Having walked miles yesterday we didn’t really want to do another full day, but hey that’s what happened. The railway station was at least a 30min walk up and down and up and down through Siena, but our timing was good and we got our tickets with 5mins to spare and boarded the train for Firenze.
There are no turnstiles or ticket inspetors on the stations in Italy. We thought. When the inspector came round on the journey he told us we should have stamped the ticket in the yellow machines. Turns out these machines are about the size of a small shoebox and wallmounted with no explanations what so ever. Gee thanks. He let us off and then buttoned the yanks next to us €5 each for having no tickets at all.
Firenze Central railway station is in the heart of the city and many of the main sights are within a few blocks of the station. We strolled through a piazza then down to the river, where we saw the Ponte Vecchio. A normal bridge, but with the addition of houses and shops on either side of the road across.
Lunch was in a blissfully air-conditioned cafe near the Ponte Vecchio before we continued our tour, exploring the Palazzo Piiti, an Internet cafe (for weather – we’ve been unable to find any wifi in Italy so far), and then down into the old town and the Cathedrale.
They didn’t build churches by halves in the old days. This was a massive cathedral that the pictures simply do not do justice. Inside is no less impressive, and the inside of the dome is covered in a fresco of people all around. Truly amazing.
Another amazing thing, but in a very different way, is the street sellers. They peddle paintings, remote control cars and assorted crap but when the Polizia Municipale turn up they are packed away and disappear before the police can touch them. Entertaining to watch!
Nev had told us a must-see was Michaelangelo’s David. This statue is in the Museo della Accademia and we’d been warned to expect queues. No queues but that probably was because the Museum was shut. Ho hum. We had a rather tasty ice cream instead – truly an art form in Italy, the ice cream.
We enjoyed Florence very much. So much more to see and do than we had time for in the 10hrs we were there, maybe next time. As it was despite the promise to our feet that we’d go easy on them we walked for miles! After the train back to Siena we paid up for another taxi to get us back to the hotel, we couldn’t bring ourselves to do all that climbing again!
Our Firenze pictures are now available here.