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Florence in the Sunshine

ITALY | Wednesday, 22 September 2021 | Views [58]

Florence from Piazza Michelangelo

Florence from Piazza Michelangelo

FIRENZE LOOKS MUCH DIFFERENT in “shoulder season” than on our visit ten years ago in the dead of winter. While the weather then was molto freddo—Italian for “freakin’ freezing—we had the city pretty much to ourselves. I wrote in my journal that Florence is “a state of mind, a living museum where it seems possible that Michelangelo or Leonardo might just walk across the piazza.” 

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              Crowds near Piazza Duomo

With today’s crowds the two artists would be difficult to spot even in their Renaissance garb. They would probably be carrying a gelato and a cell phone like everyone else, maybe even sporting a couple of tattoos.

 

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           Get your gelato—only €5

We spent the day getting our bearings, moving from shadows on the narrow crooked streets into the bright sunshine in one piazza or another. Much of Florence is pedestrian only but you must keep a lookout for the Honda scooters that have replaced the ubiquitous Vespas. 

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  Dutch Dudes in Panama Hats

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                              Friends Sharing a Gelato

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                                                            Honda—the New Breed

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                                                                           Endangered Species

 John spent as much time people-watching and taking their photos as he did photographing the scenery. We have been to Florence before and the historic buildings, he surmised, would still be there tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow.

           Ponte Vecchio and the Arno River from Piazza Michelangelo

We crossed the Arno River on the Ponte Vecchio where shops that once housed butchers and tanners now sell jewelry, art and souvenirs. It’s an uphill 1½ kilometers from the bridge to Piazzale Michelangelo and the climb seems steeper than I remember. But the panorama of Florence below makes it all worthwhile.

 

 

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