I do really try my best to update (well, re-update since I’m still in the moving mode) this blog frequently as I’m really, really passionate about this new project and new experience. And by far I think it’s going pretty good!
So today let’s jump back to Christmas season (my absolutely favourite season!) when I went to Florence for the second time in my life. There were several other trips back after those one, and every time I was falling more and more in love. Well, enjoy your reading!
This post goes back to a wonderful day in the beginning of December, when I skipped school to spend one day in Florence. It was magical, splendid, utterly spectacular… No words to describe this fantastic city. I’ve been to Florence once before, it was during summer, and there’s nothing strange that I didn’t like it then. It was too hot and too crowded and, well, honestly, I wasn’t too impressed. So, tip number one: fall or winter is probably the best time to visit Florence. Try to stay away in summertime and save this experience for a more pleasant season.
We went to Florence by train (there are many, many direct trains to Florence from all major Italian cities). However, our departure was from a relatively small city and I’m telling you why. Faenza is a small, but beautiful city in Emilia-Romagna region, about 40-50km away from Bologna. Aaaand there’s a direct train to Florence, which is enough quick (the trip takes less than 2 hours), really comfy and way cheaper than Freccias that go to Florence from Bologna (one way ticket from Faenza to Florence costs 9.80 euros – bingo for budget travellers or those who go to Florence for one day to “de-stress”, like me). For comparison, Freccia’s tickets will cost you about 30 euros, but yes, it gonna be quicker.
So, after a pleasant trip with a great view (crossing mountains by train guarantees you a good view, if you drop down some tunnels interferences) we arrived to Santa Maria Novella, a central station of Florence. Just near the station there’s a tourist office where you can pick up a free map and get some information, if you need it. My French friend Isabelle, who went to Florence with me, desperately wanted a paper map (more as a souvenir I guess; I prefer using Google maps) so we headed directly to the office. If you turn around the corner from the office you’ll find yourself on a beautiful square with an old and really splendid church of Santa Maria Novella itself. Warning: in Florence you’ll have to pay to enter most of the churches! And that was pretty upsetting.
Next stop was hilarious for me as for Da Vinci’s Demons fan – Medici Chapel. Apart from Medici’s burial site you’ll get a chance to visit a gorgeous chapel and see some Michelangelo’s artworks in the New Sacristy. And, yes, Lorenzo The Magnificent tomb (which originally was not there).
Walking around Florence (while passing through Duomo and some other important sites) we found ourselves near Palazzo Vecchio. Those day there was a NATO assembly held inside the Palazzo, so tonnes of policemen and reporters and just people were a ‘must have’. I must say that the view, however, was better, than usual – since almost no one could approach the palace, the square in front was empty, giving everyone the opportunity to actually see the building (during my previous time in Florence it was impossible).
Delicious tip: opposite the palace there’s a fabulous pasticceria Rivoire, where you can taste amazing pastries. The prices are SUPER high, but it is absolutely worth it. There I tried my favourite dessert ever: Sacher torte, which is actually an Austrian dessert, but even in Italy I never miss the opportunity to eat it. In Florence it was different: usually Sacher torte is made of chocolate and apricot jam, but here inside there was a hidden surprise as a cake was made with orange jam. Different, yes. Worse, no. Absolutely not!
After a delicious break, go directly to Piazzale Michelangelo. It will take you a little bit of exercise to climb up (after some cakes, remember? It is necessary to work out!). This is probably my favourite place in Florence. A calm and windy place, from where you can see the whole Florence and have a session of meditation : ) I love it. We went there in the afternoon while the sun was in zenith; thanks to that perfect timing I was able to make some really great pics with the good lighting! However, my Italian friends told me that the most wonderful time to go there is just before sunset. Watching sunset over Florence is something incredibly romantic and picturesque. So, till’ the next time, Florence! I’m not going to miss it any more : )
To sum up: this day exceeded my expectations to no limits! If there’s a city in the world where one day is enough to fall in love that’s Florence. The only thing to consider is great timing. Go there during Christmas time and this Florence will not leave you indifferent.
Wish everyone a great week and see you soon <3