Florence in situated in Tuscany, on the Arno river. Its picturesque scenery is a site you will envision, long after you leave there. During the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Michelangelo walked the streets; leaving their influence behind. My favorite place to take in all of the beauty, is above the city to the North; just a short walk up and beyond the Piazzale Michelangelo. Last summer a summer storm forced us to take shelter at a monastery we were passing on the way back down to town. A monk, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, asked if we needed help. Without thinking I said, we are seeking shelter from the storm. He smiled and left us to await for the storm to pass. As I sat there, I remembered the movie, “A Room With A View,” with Helena Bonham Carter, from 1985. There is a scene where the character George is running in the rain. The view he sees is the exact view we were seeing. In the piazzale sits a replica of Michelangelo’s statue of David. There is another replica by the Palazzo Vecchio, in the Piazza della Signoria. The real statue of David is in Galleria dell’Accademia, protected from the elements outside. In a room close by the statue are casts of various statues. One of the most interesting set of casts are of the family of Napoleon. Medieval art of Christianity adorns the walls of the gallery. https://www.visitflorence.com/florence-monuments/piazzale-michelangelo.html
The Duomo of Florence, Santa Maria del Fiore, sits majestically in the heart of old town. The cathedral took 140 years to build; completed in 1436. The dome was the vision of architect Filippo Brunelleschi. In June we had tickets to climb to the top of the dome, through a passageway up 463 steps. Our slotted time was delayed for the funeral of famous Italian film maker, and one time Senator, Franco Zeffireli. His procession walked reverently by us, through the streets of Florence toward the church. Later in the day, a we climbed cathedral, our legs would get a break halfway up on the narrow ledge, as we looked upon heaven and hell meeting, in the fresco, “The Last Judgment,” encircling the interior of the dome. We continued on to the top for another amazing view of Florence.
There is so much to see in Florence. Museums are plentiful, with something to suit all tastes. The city is an art lovers dream. You can be one with the locals, ordering an espresso in a café, taking a yoga class in a ballet studio, picking up the days food in the market, and enjoying a night at the opera.
Having stayed at Hotel Collodi last year, I knew I wanted to stay there again. Breakfast was included in the stay. Our hosts were kind and helpful. The location was perfect; close to all we wanted to see. https://hotelcollodi.com/