Florence… where to start? To put it simply, visiting Florence is like love at first sight. Its the beauty of Italy captured into a little town, sitting in the heart of one of the most stunning countryside regions in Europe, Tuscany.
We hopped on the bullet train from Milan to Florence for a quick day trip to the city, and a break from the Milan Fashion Week madness. (I would highly recommend Italo if you are travelling by train in Italy. It was one of the best train experiences I have ever had – large reclining leather seats, free-wifi (which does work!) and a zippy travel time of just two hours city-to-city, all for the price of €30 return!!).
Anyway arriving bright and early, we began exploring the city. Similar to what you find all over Italy, we were met with beautiful winding streets, colourful renaissance architecture, vespas buzzing by, cobbled stones…..my idea of perfection. As we were there only a day, it was more an opportunity to dip our toes into Firenze and find out what all the fuss was about, and leave the dive into art history, the museums and so on until next time.
In true Florence style, we walked across the Ponte Vecchio, visited the Palazzo Pitti, devoured a florentian steak, and climbed to the Piazzale Michelangelo at sunset. I loved it all (even though my feet were falling off). One thing that did play on my mind, however, was that despite how beautiful the city is, how much history and artistic inspiration it has to boast, I wasn’t quite sure what was so particularly special about Florence….The rest of Italy is equally as quaint and beautiful, with the added bonus of no tourists!!
Well, that was until I stepped onto the Piazza Duomo.
I would best describe laying eyes on Florence’s cathedral as spine-tingling. It has to have been one of the most beautiful buildings I have literally ever seen… The intricacy, the detail, the enormity and just the pure beauty of it is truly breathtaking, and worth visiting. I got a little too snappy happy (typical) as I just couldn’t get over how unreal it was; how many hours and how much work went into this timeless creation. And I have to say that seeing it confirmed all the hype, and made me grateful for making the journey. So, if you haven’t already been, go to Florence, get it right up there on your list, because, like me, once you visit you will already start thinking about when you can next go back…