Saturday, October 16, 2010


We had some ideas about what we wanted to see in our 2 days in Florence, but it didn't turn out quite as expected. There were huge queues which would have wasted too much of our time, and the advice to book online to avoid the queues came too late. We needed to do it well before we arrived. Online we were only offered tickets for days in advance. Traps for young players, I guess. So we did other things instead, which was no hardship. The weather has been kind since we left England, so wandering around was very pleasant.

Duomo & Santa Maria Cathedral.

Michalengelo's 'David'- no, not the real one. Couldn't get tickets for that. This is a full size copy in the place the original stood in for a few hundred years, but is indoors now.

The crowds outside the Uffizi Palace Museum/Gallery. This is another we missed seeing. But there are many galleries here and everything in them is an 'old master'

Ponte Vecchio. All jewellery shops.

Pitti Palace. Went to Palatine gallery here & saw some fabulous paintings. And had another dose of severed heads & bleeding Christs & cherubs & angelic virgins & breasts & how many penises can one be expected to look at in a day (if you're not a doctor?)
Also went to Museum of Modern Art here, which was all 18th & 19th century paintings & sculpture. Don't know what they call 20th & 21st century works! And housed in a stupendous building- previous residence of Medici family. Europe is full of castles & palaces from previous eras & regimes for which they have to find uses. Many are museums & galleries, which are often more stunning than the collections they hold. Could go through Royal Apartments here as well. And there was a Costume Museum & Porcelain Museum on same site. View of Florence from Basilica di Sal Miniato del Monte - worth the trudge up the hill.

Same view in direction of Duomo

The many ice-cream shops like to build the ice-cream up into little mountains with descriptive bits of fruit stuck in them. Looks spectacular -and served quite soft.

Autumn coming to Florence. Virginia creeper popular here, and the first thing to colour well.

Boboli Gardens (the backyard of the Pitti Palace) are accessed through the Palace & are very steep & formal with sweeping views. Quite large, and hard work panting up & down the steep hills.

Parterre garden at top of Boboli gardens, with view of Tuscan hills beyond. Some roses still flowering.

Some of the lanes in the well-heeled hill areas of Florence. Some very posh residences behind the walls.

We also went to the Bardini Gardens of the Villa Bardini. You can see by the view that is it is also a hillside residence & garden. We really liked it & could have spent much more time here, but were booked on the train to Roma.

Bardini gardens

Wisteria walk at Bardini

Terrace & view at Bardini. there was a lot of statuary around the garden, old & modern.

Short rest at Bardini.

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