The cathedral and Santa Maria Novella
After returning from Florence almost three weeks ago, it’s difficult to put into words exactly how it made me feel. What could I possibly add that hasn’t been said before? Part of me almost expected to be disappointed, especially in comparison with Venice, my favourite city. Florence is certainly not without its irritations – I cannot describe it as a city for walkers like Paris – despite its compactness, luggage rolls over the narrow, uneven pavements at most hours of the day, vespas and taxis prevent you walking in the road and even in the pedestrianised zones, there are bicycles, refuse collectors and delivery vehicles to consider. Unlike in Venice, it is much more difficult to find a quiet spot. Nearly every church or museum is invaded by tour groups; almost every sight is surrounded by selfie takers. And yet in spite of this and myself, I became a little more bewitched by the city each day. Walking out each morning and seeing the stunning black and white façade of Santa Maria Novella, seeing the familiar massive form of the Duomo grow ever closer at the end of the street, looking up to discover something unexpected and beautiful on every corner, never ceasing to be amazed by the evening sun on the façade of the cathedral and the campanile, sipping hot chocolate at Gilli’s while looking out at the Piazza della Reppublica, dodgling puddles in the Bobboli Gardens and admiring the lush Tuscan countryside around, taking a break on the Uffizi terrace and at the café at the Spedale degli Innocenti to bask in the autumn sunshine and admire the stunning panoramic views of the city. Since returning, I haven’t been able to get Florence out of my head. I long to be there again and my heart is full of regret for the things I didn’t have time to do.
Donatello’s statue of St. George outside Orsanmichaele and its stunning nave
The Palazzo Vecchio
Inside the Baptistry
Visiting Santa Maria Novella
The Boboli Gardens
I’ll be back with some more impressions of Florence very soon.