Sunday, July 11, 2010

My first walk through Florence

After I posted my last post, I wasn't sure whether I would be going out or staying in, considering how tired I was/am. I finally decided that I wasn't going to spend my first night in Florence hanging around a hostel, though, and I went for a walk - such a walk! I can't believe how close my hostel is to San Marco, the Accademia, the Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi, and the Ponte Vecchio, all of which I walked past tonight.

I can't believe how huge the Duomo is when you're actually standing next to it. I picked a route that offered a view of the campanile first, but the full impressiveness of the building only became evident when I came upon it in the courtyard. I've seen it so many times in pictures, but the real experience still had the ability to surprise me. I have a feeling I'm going to be say that a lot. :)

Also in the same plaza, the replica doors on the Baptistery give a great idea of what it must have been like when the doors were newly commissioned and placed. I didn't spend a really long time looking at them - I figure I'll save my long looks for the day when I actually stand in front of the real thing, which may be as early as tomorrow. Tomorrow, I'm going to be visiting lots of churches, since the Accademia and the Uffizi are both closed on Mondays.

Here I am in the plaza in front of the Baptistery. I figure I'm going to get to be a real expert at taking arm self-portraits by the end of this trip.

In front of the Palazzo Vecchio, I found an old friend. I know he's only a replica, and I'll be seeing the real thing when I go to the Accademia on Tuesday, but it was still a thrill to see this version standing in situ. Lots and lots of people were having their picture taken in front of it - I hope they know they were looking at a replica. I'm sure I will have a lot more to say about David and Michelangelo, including the insane merchandising of David, after Tuesday.

I had dinner at a little outdoor restaurant that was having a special on tortellinis, and I noticed another girl sitting alone at another table. We got to talking, and it turns out she was a nice Welsh gal called April who has been living in Italy teaching English for the last two years. I really enjoyed talking to her at dinner, and the experience helped allay one more of my fears about this trip - I no longer think it's going to be as lonely as I originally thought. Between staying in hostels and hanging out at bars and restaurants, I have a feeling that I am going to be meeting a lot of new people and having lots of great conversations. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure why I was worried in the first place, but tonight's experience really put my mind at ease.

One last little oddity: why does Florence have a museum of serial killers? I feel like this is the kind of thing that one would find in Salem, MA or some place like that. I couldn't resist taking a quick picture of this one.

Well, that's all for tonight. Finishing this post was a real struggle - I think the travel exhaustion is finally catching up with me. It's only 8:45pm here, but I'm ready for sleep!


  1. I'll start at the bottom. Serial killer museum!? Hmmm...that show we're supposed to watch?
    You also now know that you won't starve in Italy for food or company. How nice to listen to a Welsh accent.
    Your walk must have been a thrill and tomorrow sounds awesome. Nothing can compare to seeing these buildings, sculptures, paintings, etc. face to face. Have a great Monday!

  2. That's quite an evening stroll, Sarah!

  3. I had a huge smile on my face reading this, it sounds like you had a wonderful day!