Florence: An Underrated Gem!

Tripoto
Day 2

Our next stop was the enormous and majestic Palazzo Pitti which lay on the opposite side of River Arno. In the mid-16 th century, Palazzo Pitti replaced Palazzo Vecchio as the official residence of Florence's dukes and it was even used as a base by Napoleon in the late 18 th century.

We chose to begin our sightseeing in Florence with Palazzo Vecchio as it was open till 7 pm which gave us sufficient time to explore it. This medieval palace cum fortress, originally built to host the members of city council and later used as a residence by dukes of Florence, currently serves as the town hall and contains mayor's office and other municipal offices.

After spending close to 3 hours in Palazzo Vecchio we walked to Ponte Vecchio passing the Galileo Museum on our way. Ponte Vecchio, built over River Arno, is a legendary and probably the strangest bridge I have ever seen in my life.

We exited the palace from the rear gates and entered the famous Boboli Gardens. The gardens were spread over a large area and had many sculptures, fountains and an amphitheatre too. We did not particularly like the Boboli Gardens although that might be because it was not the blooming season.

The next couple of hours provided the postcard moments of our visit to Florence. We took a bus from Palazzo Pitti to Piazzale Michelangelo. This square, which has a bronze replica of Michelangelo's David, is located at one of the highest points of Florence and offers a panoramic view of the city. And what a view it was! The Arnolfo tower of Palazzo Vecchio, the Duomo and the Santa Croce church dominated the skyline on one side of River Arno while the other side was covered with lush greenery.

We visited many more cities in Europe but for me none had the magic of Florence and if someone today asks me which city would you like to visit again and again; yes you are right - it would be Florence.

If Rome can be described as the city of ancient wonders then Florence is certainly the city of medieval marvels. Known as the cradle of Renaissance, Florence is also the birthplace of the most famous Italian poet - Dante Alighieri and the city where Leonardo da Vinci underwent his apprenticeship. But what amazed me is how underrated Florence is as a tourist destination. Whereas Rome is a pretty hyped up city, Florence is more of a hidden gem. It does not get the same glory as Rome but is certainly no less glorious. To use a cricket analogy, if Rome can be called Sachin Tendulkar then Florence is definitely Rahul Dravid.

We chose to begin our sightseeing in Florence with Palazzo Vecchio as it was open till 7 pm which gave us sufficient time to explore it. This medieval palace cum fortress, originally built to host the members of city council and later used as a residence by dukes of Florence, currently serves as the town hall and contains mayor's office and other municipal offices.

Palazzo Vecchio

Photo of Rome, Italy by Mansi Patil

Hall of Five Hundreds

Photo of Rome, Italy by Mansi Patil
Day 1

After visiting various other rooms on the first and second floors, each decorated with gorgeous frescoes and paintings, we climbed up to the battlements and then all the way up to the top of Arnolfo Tower. The climb to the top of the tower was steep but totally worth the effort as we got a breathtaking bird's eye view of the entire Florence city.

Photo of Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy by Mansi Patil

This blog was originally published on 'TRAVELTELLERS'.

1 Comment(s)
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Good blog and nice to see that you have been to places which we could not visit.However apart from Uffizi gallery you also missed seeing the original David in the Accademia gallery.May be next time as you seem to have fallen in love with Florence.
Fri 03 03 17, 03:36 · Reply (1) · Report
Thank you Dhiraj! Yes, will surely visit Florence again.
Mon 03 20 17, 03:40 · Report