After forking out another fifteen euros for the waterbus back to the train station, we boarded the fast train to Florence. Amazingly, these trains only cost slightly more than the 10 minute ferry ride in Venice. This train was actually on time as well, so that was nice. A mere two hours later we found ourselves in Florence. We booked a B&B about five minutes walk from the train station, which actually means it’s more like ten minutes once you navigate around all the tourists. It was now about midday and we only had about 24 hours to explore Florence, so we set out straight away after receiving some helpful information from our B&B host.
Florence is one of those amazing cities where almost everything you want to see or do is within walking distance. Even though our B&B was in the northwest corner of town, it took less than an hour to walk all the way to the southeast side. One thing we had in
mind to do, was to visit Michelangelo’s statue of David. As expected, that’s what everyone else in Florence wanted to do as well. With us being so busy leading up to the trip, and throughout the whole trip, we didn’t really get a chance to plan anything for Italy. This turned out to be a big mistake, because if you didn’t have a reservation, or started lining up at sunrise, you couldn’t really get in anywhere. Oh yeah, and a lot of places were shut on Mondays.. We had about six hours where it might have been possible to get into the museum to see David, but the line looked like it was about six hours long, so we gave up on that idea.
We concluded that this would be an external visit of Florence, and we would try to come back a bit earlier in the season next time. Apparently April is the start of the peak season in Italy. Fortunately for us, Florence is quite a beautiful city to walk around. Particularly at night time, which was our most enjoyable experience. The crowds thin out, and the Santa Maria Cathedral looks magical. It helps as well when there is a busker playing songs from Phantom of the Opera with a violin kind of thing. We also managed to have one of the best value meals we’ve found in all of Europe. Two courses each and half a litre of wine between us for about 14 euros each. Admittedly the quality wasn’t the best, but it was value for money.
The next day we were catching the afternoon train to Rome, so we spent the morning
doing some more exploring. We walked down to the Piazalle Michelangelo, which is a piazza on the top of a hill on the south east side of town which has pretty spectacular views over Florence. There is also a huge bronze replica of the statue of David there. We figured that would have to do for this trip. After a bit of a wander back through the down town area and another cheap coffee, it was time to make our way to the train station. By this stage we were kind of sick of Pizza, Pasta and Panini’s, which is seemingly the only thing you can eat in Italy, so we snapped and had McDonalds for the first time on the trip.
Don’t worry Florence, we will be back again to see you properly!