"Our First Time In Frenze" Florence Travelogue by RoscoeGregg
Florence Travel Guide: 5,295 reviews and 12,089 photos
We arrive in a steady rain. It is less hectic than Milan. Still it is a bit overwhelming for us Midwesterners. Traveling light once again pays off as we are very dynamic and able to make quick decisions.
After reading too many guide books about the underground passage that exits the train station. It sounded risky and spooky. So we race across the road to the east of the station. I have to laugh at myself now as I use the tunnel at all times of the day.
We have a bit of a wet slog to our chosen hotel only to decide at the last moment to change where we want to sleep. The chosen hotel had a weird feel. We begin the walk to another Hotel on our list. At this point a crack in Bobs demeanor began to develop. I think the quote was Just Pick ONE!!
Fortunately we had a good map and were able to walk right to our second choice. It was a spectacular success. The owner took an immediate liking to Barbara and put us in two very nice rooms in what turned out to be an excellent location. It is just a block off San Lorenzo.
We regroup and refit and head out on one of the most memorable walks of my life. To start we plunge into the Market at San Lorenzo. I love open air markets and this was a treat for all the senses. We wander through this market till we end up on Borgo San Lorenzo.
I know what is coming but Barbara and Bob are blissfully unaware that the Duomo is just past the next corner. As we pass from the confined street to the Piazza there is a unified gasp of delight and wonder from behind me. It is one of the most plesant sounds that I have ever heard.
As people rush past we slowly stumble into the open and gaze in wonder. You can read about Brunelleschi?s Dome all you want but it will never prepare you for the first sight of it. It is without doubt a perfect structure in a perfect setting.
Knowing that we will return tomorrow we continue on as we pass out of the piazza on Via de Calzaioli and head deeper towards the Arno. After a short walk we stumble into the Piazza De Senoria. Again things totally exceed expectations. I do feel the need to pinch my arm to be sure that I am here.
I am reminded that this is the center of many thoughts and ideas that western Europeans use as touchstones for who we are as a people. It is truly a great outdoor room. The people watching is really great. After a bit of wandering and wondering we drift towards the Ponte Vecchio.
It is a mob scene. I am for the first time confronted with some ugly Americans. They are not me so I do not know why I care but they embarrass me. How can you be so clueless?
At the center of the bridge things thin out a bit and we take a break for pics and a chat. I find the bridge underwhelming but the view from the bridge is just fantastic at sunset. We linger and enjoy the fading light of the day.
As lights blink on we decide to head back and look for some supper. The walk back is just as exciting as the walk out. We drift past the Orsanmichele and pause. We are standing exactly where Michelangelo, Leonardo, Botticelli, Dante and Donatello stood!! It is all too much to take in.
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