I arrived in Firenze (Florence) from Napoli on an express train a little before 10 AM today. By 11 AM I was settled in my home away from home till this Saturday when I depart for Athens, Greece. I stumbled upon this gem searching the internet last Sunday and reserved at a price much below what was listed. While I do not intend to be in the apartment too long any one day, it is great to have a full kitchen with gas stove, washer (no dryer), two bedrooms (you can never have enough), and a full shower. It is easy walking distance to nearly everything being as it is located in downtown Firenze.
Not too long after settling in I got myself and my camera back outside to do a bit of walking and sightseeing. I immediately headed to Duomo (incidentally I can see Duomo’s dome from my bedroom window) and paid 6-euro for the honor of climbing the four-hundred-fourteen steps to get a terrestrial view of city from the top of the tower next to Duomo. Once back on terra firma, even this Seattle-ite decided to listen to the suggestions of the rather insistent rain and find myself something to do indoors: visit Gallery of Uffizi. I normally do not like to take photographs at museums since so much of what can be seen is better seen in-person or in an art-book; however, today I wished to take exception. It is not so much the artwork which I wish I could share with you through photography but the gallery; it is a piece of art unto itself. Unfortunately, they had strict policies against any photography so I refrained. But as a point of matter, the gallery truly really needs to be experienced first-hand to be understood and appreciated. And now you have an excuse to come to Firenze; you can thank me later.
Upon leaving the gallery I headed toward the River Arno and then across the Ponte Vecchio toward the Boboli Gardens. Instead of going to the gardens and Belvedere Fort, I headed toward Michelangelo Piazza to get a view of the city proper. While there I enjoyed watching an incoming thunderstorm lay itself over the city and surrounding hills. Its fast approach sent me faster to the church of San Miniato al Monte where I weathered out the storm. Upon returning to the outside I believe I experienced one of those “under the Tuscan sun” moments when I just stood there and smiled from ear to ear. My photographs of those moments are poor substitute to the moment I tried to capture.
I now sit comfortably in my home writing this all the while preparing to go back out into the Firenze night to capture some more photographs and possible enjoy a bistecca alla fiorentina (also known under the more pedestrian name of t-bone steak in English), a speciality of the region.