Too many people! Like, way too many! That is the feeling that will strongly remain in my mind after this short stop over in Florence that I had the chance (yes, somehow the chance) to visit for the second time, on my way back from the Repubblica di San Marino to Nice a couple of months ago. I travelled by bus and picked a journey with a connection in Florence. I basically had 3 hours ahead of me to go downtown, stroll about in the city center and go back to the station where my next bus would depart.
From the bus and coach station Villa Costanza located in the outskirts of the city, a tram departs every 5 minutes and takes 25 minutes to reach the main train station. From there, do yourself a favor and walk around, take large avenues and smaller streets, I mean, this is Italy, this is Florence, take in the atmosphere and admire the architecture! I first started by the famous Piazza del Duomo and took many pictures, because… it was raining and the square was packed with tourists – and umbrellas!
Then I headed towards the Piazza della Signorina, famous for its Roman statues as well as for its nice caffés and gelateria. Because of the bad weather, and despite the large crowds, only a few shops were open for business, which I think was a pity. But it was Sunday in a catholic country, and it was around 3pm in a latin country (napping often prevails over working at this time of the afternoon), so perhaps that explains it all…
But more than that, this square leads to the famous bridge of Florence, the Ponte Vecchio, literally the old bridge. So famous that it was hardly possible to enjoy my own personal space to take it in. People were hushing and pushing from all sides to take selfies and other more traditional pictures. I managed to take a couple nice pics, and immediately hurried away from the main spots to breathe, when a rainbow appeared in the sky over the bridge.
The bridge actually hosts a number of pizza stalls and shops, mostly jewelries. I felt like nobody buys from this place, but tourists probably do, otherwise the existing shops would be replaced by other shops at some point. But that afternoon, again most of the shops were not operating when I walked across the bridge, so there was not much to watch but the beautiful construction itself.
I walked down the Ponte Vecchio to admire its architecture from outside, and took pictures from the riverside. The rain had finally stopped and it had become nice to take my time, although the crowds quickly began to mass around me again. Just look at it! There is no other bridge like this one, it really is unique!
When I started heading back to the station, the weather had turned into something even nicer, which even allowed for a beautiful sunset over the Arno river. All in all, this stop over in Florence was nice, but I do have to say that the large crowds everywhere were a bit of a hassle to walk through. A couple of hours were enough for me to visit the city as it was my second time in Florence, but I’d advise a first time visitor to stay over a weekend – and enjoy the local good food too.
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi. © 2019 All Rights Reserved.