Florence, Italy ~ Photo of the Day
Unfortunately, we had just 2 nights in Florence. Enough time to see some of the highlights and just barely soak up a bit of the amazing culture and art.
One of the most symbolic pieces of architecture in Florence is the Ponte Vecchio – the ancient bridge stretching across the Arno River. It’s believed that the bridge was first built in the 10th century and that it was destroyed and rebuilt numerous times since then. (The story goes that Hitler wouldn’t allow this bridge to be bombed during the war – he liked it so much – while all the surrounding bridges were destroyed.)
Today, the Ponte Vecchio is filled with high-end jewelry and antique shops. And tourists, of course.
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, or Duomo as everyone calls it, is one of the most massive and impressive churches I’ve ever seen. The complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and even during April, considered the shoulder season, the square was packed with tourists. (I pity those who can only travel there during the summer – the crowds must be unimaginable.)
While you can’t not visit the iconic sites of any city, the charm lies in the “real” life of the locals. This artist had a tiny shop just off the main square. I loved the narrowness of the storefront. To me, there was a certain humbleness to the store, the artist and his work – something definitely missing in the huge souvenir shops around the main tourist areas.
We stayed in Florence courtesy of HouseTrip. These folks specialize in short stay rental properties around the world including apartments in Florence. We had a small but lovely place located 2 blocks from the Uffizi Gallery and the Ponte Vecchio. The best bakery in the city (I’ll swear by that) was located just up the street and we had everything we needed for a comfortable stay (including kitchen and Wifi). Check out this property if you’re looking for the most convenient location in the city
HouseTrip, by the way, has nearly 100,000 properties to choose from worldwide. Try ‘em next time you’re planning a vacation! Seriously. These folks are awesome!