It was a beautiful time of the year and it was even more beautiful to find oneself in Firenze, the genuine heart of the European Renaissance.
I wished I could say more than ‘gelato’, ‘pizza’, ‘spaghetti’ and ‘trattoria’, the words forming my Italian essential vocabulary. I learned from all the street merchants to say ‘Ciao, bella!’ with a broad smile, then of course did my best to avoid them. Also, found out that the sweetest treat was to discover an ‘Aperitivo’, which is a delightful mix between a happy hour and a food bar. I highly recommend it to any visitor. Not only it’s a great way to meet other visitors, students and colorful people, but also it would go easy on your budget. Sitting on a little table right in the street front of such a bar, I understood that I was in between art students and their teacher. The modern art subculture is highly expressive and can be seen anywhere on walls, signs and pavements. Must be extremely challenging and inspiring to study in Florence, where part of the most famous pieces of art are displayed in the galleries.
It must have been pure luck that I happened to visit this lovely Italian city exactly when ‘Notte Bianca’ was celebrated. This local festival has the museums opened up with free entrance till late and gathers crowds that stay up outdoors till sunrise. If you plan a trip to Florence, you might want to check the calendar for the White Night event.
There is so much to see in Florence. I usually notice the city included in Italy tourist routes for a day or a two. It is true that you are able to see the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, Galleria dell’Accademia, Ponte Vecchio, Palazo Pitti, Palazo Vecchio and even some more sights during the daylight of a single day. However, I wholeheartedly recommend that you take the time to walk the streets and gardens of Firenze at a slow pace. I spent a whole week there and still have unseen spots to check out left for my next visit.
My personal favourite Florence places of them all are the gardens. Giardino di Boboli, Giardino Bardini, Giardino delle rose are the ones I was able to enjoy. It is where the time stops and you can make up your own glorious story. You can join the painters drawing fountains, the students lying on the grass, the explorers studying the different labyrinth paths. I imagined that the statues are alive and imitated the gargoyles, admired some roses, saw the city from above, rested on a bench and breathed in and out beauty.
My heart was filled with beauty in Florence. And so would be yours, fellow travellers!