Well, surely it isn’t possibile to visit every single thing in only one day, Florence is a city full of history and art, every corner of this city whispers something to hear.
Luckily enough Florence isn’t a big city and the main things to visit are close together in the historical center.
We tried to visit Florence in one day only.
I’ve been in Florence many times, and one of the things I don’t ever want to miss is strolling between the stands of the Saint Lawrence Market, all around Saint Lawrence Church. They mostly sell leather objects, clothes and accessories (I don’t think it’s actual leather, luckily enough), and smelling that particular smell as well as seeing all those colors, even if they are not my beloved pastel colors, always lefts me with a good sensation. It’s a full of life market, and it is in a few minutes walking from the station: a wonderful place from which to start our one-day trip to Florence, having a little enjoyment.
From the Market is easy to reach the famous Santa Maria Novella Church, but be careful of not going during the Mass, when is forbidden to entry!
First of all, you’ll see the darkest side of the Church, the brown rear to be exact, nice to see but maybe not the most beautiful side to me, ’cause the best part comes short after: following the walls you’ll reach the main entrance, in front of the square. A white square, speckled with the green of the flowerbeds, with a white church… here is good spot to stop, shooting some classical pics (maybe you can shoot some original pics, so you will get better photos), observing people going in and out the church or the luxury hotels surrounding the place.
From Santa Maria Novella, in about fifteen minutes walking, most of which on the banks of the Arno, you’ll reach the beautiful Ponte Vecchio, now full of jeweleries, but centuries ago full of the most tasty butcher-shops of the city. Nowadays the bridge is full of tourists too, pressed up in front of viewpoints to take some pictures. It’s not easy to resist the temptation of shooting a pic with the Arno as background, much as banal as it is, so we gave up and asked a guy to take the photo. In the moment he took my reflex, we understood he was confident with it, it’s easy to understand it by seeing someone taking that precious thing in his hands. Soon after we discovered he was a Nat Geo photographer, or that’s what he had wrote on his bag… Anyway he took a very beautiful pic!
The first thing we saw after Ponte Vecchio, was the magical Uffizi Gallery. The entrance of the museum is made up of a courtyard surrounded by many columns, each one with a statue of great Tuscany authors, artists, scientists and so on… just to tell everyone the importance of this region in the history of Italy and of the whole world.
A two-hours queue and a ticket of 6.50 euros, but it is well worth it to discover Italian arts’ treasures. The museum is a sequence of rooms, where the artworks of Botticelli, Giotto, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Tiziano, Caravaggio, Canaletto and many others are shown… a priceless collection, directly from Medici’s private one.
The most exciting moment for me was when I found myself in front of Botticelli’s Venus. It was my favourite artwork, maybe for its colors, maybe for the quiet but lost expression of Venus’ eyes, or maybe for the ancient standards of beauty… I always saw it in books, so seeing it in front of me, with real colors on a real canvas, it was a magical moment. I would have spent many hours to contemplate this artwork… and I believe that anyone, in Uffizi Gallery, could find its magical artwork.
Out of Uffizi, we found ourselves just behind Piazza della Repubblica and its roundabout, then Piazza della Signoria with its Michelangelo’s David guarding and finally Piazza del Duomo, with its enchanted style, so white that sun’s reflections was almost blinding annoyed the sight, but our gaze was charmed from the beauty of the place, it was impossible to stop looking.
In Florence’s squares is nice to wander around: taking a coffee sitting on the tables of the place, queuing up to take a pic beneath the David or to enter in the Duomo, or simply strolling to admire every single corner, to breathe an age which does no longer exist, but used to be so deep in this gorgeous city.
You can’t leave Florence without greeting the Greatest Poet: so, the last stop before leaving the city, was Dante Alighieri’s House, near Piazza del Duomo. We walked where he walked, watched his objects and the reprints of the Divina Commedia, we looked out the window he used to look out from. In each room is told the history of Florence, a good way to identify with the atmosphere of the house and understand what he thought when he woke up in the morning, and when he went to bed at night…
We went out from Dante’s house, and came back in Piazza del Duomo, to take the shortest way to arrive to Santa Maria Novella station and, sadly, said goodbye to Florence.