A short survival guide to Florence, Italy Part 1

Back from Florence. I had the most amazing time there and would like to take the opportunity to thank my guide, grazie mille sbironeddu!

It’s quite depressing to be back in Liverpool but yesterday I found the city bathed in sun which was really nice.. too bad I have to lock myself up in the library for the next couple of days to get some dissertation work done. Anyway, Florence. Picture this: this is June right, before the official beginning of summer, yet I’m literally sweating my pants away as soon as I set one foot outside the flat. So here are my tips if you want to visit the city in the best conditions:

– when to go? if you’re fortunate enough to be able to visit Florence before the summer, try to make it in .. May, I’m pretty sure they’d be less tourists and the weather would still be nice, nice enough to wear those £4 flats and enjoy some real Italian ice-cream.

– how to go around? Florence is full of two-wheeled, three-wheeled, four-wheeled vehicles. If you don’t want to walk the crowdy and cobbled streets of the old town, rent a bike, forget about renting a car, it’s a mess , see what they want to do to road signs:

Otherwise, I definitely think that the best way to go around is to take public transportations because it’s definitely cheaper than those City Sightseeing red buses (although nothing can come close to my dear Yellow duckmarine) and you get to see most of the main monuments with the locals! (My personal favourite would be the 22 that would take me straight from the station to the best ice-cream shop my accomodation). The only liability of this system would be the somewhat strong smells that pervade the bus at rush hours hence the next point.

– the best times of the day to visit the city would be early morning or late afternoon. I had this amazing experience of walking around the Piazza Del Duomo way before the opening of the museums and other attractions and it was really nice to feel another kind of hustling and bustling: that of the deliveries for the different restaurants and people getting ready for what would be another long, busy day. And although it was quite early, the sun was already high in the sky and I could snap away at will without unwanted tourists’ heads on my shots!

-where to stay? I was fortunate enough to be hosted by local inhabitants so I wouldn’t be of much help on this one. My one and only advice would be don’t be blinded by the lights of some fancy accomodation near the Arno because although you would enjoy a breathtaking view on the Ponte Vecchio, you wouldn’t be able to catch up some sleep because heat+nearby river = MOSQUITOS. Believe me, after one week, I earned my new nickname « Mosquito murderer », a title which I am actually really proud of…

Florence by night: convertible windows as it were

Bellini indeed: The Ponte Vecchio's jewellery stands are at their best by night

Rendez-vous sur Hellocoton !


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