Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Florence, Italy

My third stop was Florence. I spent the most time here; I even cancelled a trip to Pisa because I like Florence so much (I had already seen too many leaning towers anyway). Florence is beautiful! Everything is candy colored. The buildings are awesome and I stayed in a terrific hostel there. The views from the river are amazing day or night. There really is something for everyone there.

Church near the main train station.

I only had one bad experience in Florence. A man followed me for about a mile or two down the river. He would never get really close to me, but I could tell he was following me. I pulled all the tricks too, sitting down, tying my shoe, taking pictures and yet he persisted. When he finally approached me, nobody was around and he tried to get me to take a "shortcut" through a shady alley. His behavior was really dodgy and he scared me enough to make me nervous, so I latched onto the first Americans I heard. They were from upstate New York and were really nice. They let me walk around with them for about 3 hours.

View from the River.

I can give a few suggestion about visiting Florence. First of all, don't spend your money on the Uffizi gallery. Yes, they have a few Botticelli's, but they are not worth the wait or the money. It was a big disappointment. Second, don't go to Dante's house. It isn't really Dante's house, it is a museum built on the foundation of a building which is "largely believed to be Dante's house." It was boring and just had passages about the time period and nothing much about Dante. Third, and this is the most important, DO NOT buy anything from street vendors. The police can and will fine people 10,000 euros if they catch them purchasing such goods.

Below: A wedding at the main church of Florence and the tower.

3 comments:

Moment said...

love the pictures.
sounds like there are some strange men in Italy. I'm glad you're ok.

Tangospeak said...

OH my goodness, your blog brings back so many memories. I lived in Florence for a year when I was in grade nine (1985-86). I used the take the bus from Il duomo to the American International School of Florence located in the hills of Fiesole. Used to live just around the corner from Ponte Vecchio on Via Barbadori. Seriously, that was the best and happiest year of my life.

Julie said...

Wow! Great vacation!! Sorry Bologna sucked but Florence sounds dreamy.

You were able to get some great pictures.