Pavement Pounding From Piazza to Piazza

Florence is made for strolling, one afternoon we did just that – strolling from piazza to piazza, following our noses and soaking up the atmosphere and buzz of this incredible city.

05.28.35 - Florence

05.29.24 - Florence

We found many lovely squares, after the Piazza del Duomo, the Piazza della Signoria comes a close second in my list of favourites. Having decided to skip the Uffizzi on this trip – time constraints and a non-art appreciative son were contributing factors – we did feel the need to view it from outside. The exterior is as glorious as the art it contains.

05.28.28 - Ufizzi

Uffizi gazing done we carried on to the Piazza della Signoria. A special square, not least because soaring above you are a host of famous sculptures including a reproduction of Michelangelo’s David. The original stood here for over three hundred years but now, for protection from the elements, it is in the Academia Museum. Son was impressed by David but was not capable of containing his small boy sniggers!

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I love the history of the square – long a gathering place, it has seen political rallies, festivals and in the 15th century the infamous Bonfire of the Vanities. Florentines were encouraged to burn their mirrors, books, games, wigs, paintings and other symbols of decadent religion. We strolled from statue to statue taking in the beautiful Renaissance artwork.

05.28.29 - Florence

05.28.30 - Florence

The square was full of people and life by day, I liked this but my favourite time was after dark. The masses of tourists (mostly) dispersed, at twilight there were musicians playing, people strolling and you could get closer to the sculptures without any jostling. The whole square had a gentler, softer air and a different atmosphere. We just had to make sure Son avoided eye contact with a few pesky hawkers lurking at the corners – the only slight negative.

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05.28.34 - Florence

05.29.35 - Florence

Piazza Michelangelo is another must-see. We started at the river, passed through Porta San Niccolo and strolled up to this piazza. More steps and a bit of a climb but worth it – views like never before. The square itself is not so great – every coach stops here, it is rammed with souvenir sellers, cars, buses and just not appealing. We turned our backs on the square and took in the panorama.

05.29.37 - Florence

This is what Piazza Michelangelo is all about – the magnificent skyline of Florence dominated by that amazing cathedral dome. Not hard to see why this inspired more than one Renaissance master.

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A bit distant from the main tourist sights – a 30 minute walk and quite a few steps but a small price to pay for a vista like this. Unmissable.

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20 thoughts on “Pavement Pounding From Piazza to Piazza

  1. Thanks Joy I’ve enjoyed reading your Florence posts very much! I was last here in 1980 – I know I wandered around with my friends but didn’t really appreciate the architecture and history as I would today! I remember the huge queues outside the Uffizi and the impressive exterior though and the Ponte Vecchio! Somewhere to go back to – thanks for sharing and have a great weekend 🙂

    • Actually it was 1981 I was last there – I remember seeing pictures of the royal wedding (Charles and Diana’s!) in the Italian papers whilst we were staying at the youth hostel in Florence!

    • Thanks Rosemary – I spent student summers travelling around Europe with my friends and like you say didn’t really appreciate all that stuff – far more exciting things to do (I thought). It’s lovely to go back somewhere and revisit with the benefit of age and experience. I definitely appreciated Florence so much more this time. Hope you have a great weekend too.

  2. Looks spectacular. I love all the statues in Italy, the architecture and atmosphere is so different than back home 🙂 I can understand the sniggers I think I probably blushed a lot as a twelve year old in Rome :p hahah

    Florence and Venice are next on my list of places to see in Italy

    • I love all that too – a really different feel to all the Italian cities it’s fantastic. Our son kept wondering aloud why none of these people in the statues wore a scrap of clothing, couldn’t help him on that question! We loved Florence but Venice (went there about 4 years ago) is completely amazing too.

  3. Loved Florence and it is another city I wish I had spent more time in .. A day trip was not enough – my son still wears his Florence market hat -though it is a little worn out and small now …

    • Yeah – we’re hardcore!! Actually everywhere is really close to everywhere else in Florence so the distances are nothing. The square overlooking the city is a little further out but again not too far. One of my favourite things about Florence, you can walk everywhere and see everything in a few days. We did miss out all the museums though – just spent our time outside.

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