Florence, Italy – the jewel in Tuscany’s crown (part 2)

It hadn’t occurred to me when I started writing last week’s post that it would be a good idea to split the tale of this city into two parts. But I soon realised there was simply too much to tell to jam it all into one post.

So here I am with part 2 of my adventure to Florence and very excited am I to share it with you.

I talked last week about our visit to the Palazzo Pitti. Although the Uffizi and Accademia are the big draw cards in Florence, I urge you not to miss the Pitti. But on our last full day in Florence my husband and I decided to make a call between the Uffizi and the Accademia. I suppose we could have tried to do both but decided one bout of queuing was quite enough for one day. Fortunately the rain had cleared and it was a brilliant sunny day.

To digress briefly, talking of queuing, if you’re wondering why the famous Cathedral (or Il Duomo di Firenze in Italian) doesn’t feature in my posts, I’ll give you two reasons. One, the queues were absolutely horrendous and two, it was freezing cold. These two factors when put together do not make for a pleasing combination. Added to this, we did visit the Cathedral on our first visit to Florence. It was many years ago admittedly, but still, there’s a tick in that box.

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So back to a toss up between the Uffizi and the Accademia. We went for the Accademia. This was mainly my choice and for the simple reason that I have always wanted to see The David. Not on a postcard or in a guide book. And not the replica that has pride of place in Piazza della Signoria, as impressive as it is. No, I wanted to stand in front of the original that Michelangelo sculpted and see it with my own eyes.

We went for a bit of forward planning and booked ahead for the Accademia (once again through our hotel’s excellent Concierge). And I would strongly suggest that you do the same if you’re visiting the top picks in Florence. Especially during high season. It doesn’t eliminate queuing entirely but it fast tracks you past the worst of the queue (for people who decide to just rock up and take their chances). Sadly my patience has limits (rather small ones at that).

It’s a wonderful thing when something meets your every expectation and beyond. I was completely mesmerised by The David. Photographs cannot possibly compare to seeing it in the flesh. The detail is incredible. To think that a person sculpted it from scratch. I would say a good 15-20 minutes passed before I could drag myself away.

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As for the remainder of the Gallery, it’s well worth seeing it in its entirety. But I would say that it’s hard to go past the star of the show.

IMG_2999One final tidbit of information – the replica of The David in Piazza della Signoria, which has been there since 1910 is actually the site of the original sculpture. The original was moved into the Accademia in 1873.

After leaving the gallery we walked. Make sure you give yourself time while in Florence to just walk. Take it all in. Stop for coffee. Watch the world go by. There’s no need to have every minute accounted for. It’s one of those cities where just to be there feels like a privilege.

It was well past lunchtime when we decided to escape the cold and warm up in a cozy trattoria.  We were both famished and a late lunch seemed like the perfect way to while away the rest of the afternoon. Ristorante Il Borghetto was the place and can be found at Via Guicciardini 27 on the south side of the river. Close to our hotel so even better.

IMG_2976The Il Borghetto was a perfect example of how you need not spend a lot of money to eat when in Florence, or anywhere in Italy for that matter. The food was fresh and delicious but the prices very reasonable. Excellent pasta with a nice glass of wine – we were happy.

Carrying on with the food theme, later that evening we ventured out for our final meal in Florence and we couldn’t leave Italy without having had a pizza. After yet another recommendation from our Concierge – we were onto a good thing – my husband and I set off into the cold but clear night, once again crossing the bridge.

La Bussola can be found at Via Porta Rossa, 58/R. The restaurant has a very cool pizza bar that must seat at least a dozen people. If you’re sitting at the bar you can watch the bustle around the wood-burning oven.

I had the Parmigiana – tomatoes, mozzarella and aubergine, which is basically my idea of pizza heaven. Highly recommended. (I think by this stage I might have been on to my third glass of wine. It was our last night, after all.)

After dinner and despite the cold, we decided to walk a little. Our visit in late December meant the Christmas lights were still ablaze. So beautiful.

Look for yourself.

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IMG_2987This seems a good place to end things. Florence reminded me (not that I really need reminding) why I love travelling so much. The world is such a fabulous place. And although Florence is a very small sliver of it, it’s a city that stays with you.

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6 Comments

    • You did, Laura. I have to confess I dived straight in without a thought to taking a photo! By the time I remembered my pizza – or what was left of it – wasn’t particularly photo worthy!

      Like

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