Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Florence and the Arno River

We had such limited time in Florence and there was so much to see that I knew there was no way we could do the city justice.  When we got back to the ship late that afternoon, I felt underwhelmed by our tour even though we actually saw quite a bit; I just couldn’t process it all.  But as each day passed and I looked at our pictures, read over material we had from the cruise line and our tour guide about Florence (or Firenze as the Italians call her), I realized that we saw quite a bit more than I thought we had, even though most of it was externally.  Also, with the crowds, there was much externally we didn’t get to see.

One thing about Florence is that while there are many museums, there is much to see outside of the museums.  One example of that is Piazza della Signoria where you can see many statues including a replica of Michelangelo’s David.  You may exit from Piazza della Signoria through the not-quite-a-courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery and stop to admire the statues of famous Renaissance artists on display.

As you pass under the bottom of the U-shaped Uffizi Gallery exterior, you’ll come alongside the famous Arno River which divides Florence and tourists cross via the Ponte Vecchio.  We were there on a busy Saturday in June and because of the crowds, our tour guide walked us near the bridge but didn’t take us across it even though that was supposed to be part of our tour.  However, we did linger long enough to take some photos of the Arno River before heading off to the Accademia di Belle Arti Museum to see the original David.

The longer we’ve been away from Florence, and the more I’ve read or seen references to this Italian city, the more I am certain that I would like to visit Florence at a less busy time of year.  Our guide suggested that for those interested in making a return trip to the city, the winter months, while cold and dreary, are some of the best times for viewing the museums.


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