I had a work meeting in Lerici, Italy, and given the many interesting places nearby, I decided to fly out early and spend a day in Florence. Landed in Pisa late on Friday night (around 10pm) and caught the train to Florence. Got into the hotel around 12:30am. Spent all of Saturday exploring the city and caught the Sunday morning train back to Pisa to meet up with colleagues. Despite the short time, I loved Florence for the beautiful art and architecture.
My first stop was the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. I did not go inside the cathedral, but there was enough to admire from the outside.
Instead of going inside the cathedral, I opted for climbing the adjacent tower, Giotto’s campanile, figuring that it would offer better views of the duomo itself. The hundreds of steps up the tower were worth it because the views were fantastic.
Florence is filled with numerous statues all over the city. Especially impressive was the collection in Piazza della Signoria; I could have spent days studying them all.
Ponte Vecchio is one of the main tourist attractions, but frankly, I failed to see why. Yes, I understand the history, but it’s just a bridge with jewelry shops and street performers, packed with tourists.
I made my way up to Piazzale Michelangelo to scout out my vantage point for sunset. It provided a great viewpoint for the whole city.
A quick internet search (thanks to smartphones) showed that it was Giardino Bardini. I spent some time in the quiet solitude of the garden.
After a little break, I returned to Piazzale Michelangelo for sunset. I waited my turn amongst the crowd to get a good spot and parked myself there.
I spent the rest of the evening walking around randomly.
There is much of Florence that I did not see due to my limited time, e.g. the Uffizi, Boboli Gardens, and more. But what I did see was gorgeous, and definitely worth another longer visit someday.