Florence: A Charming Scene


If Rome left you a bit overwhelmed, Florence will be a welcomed change. Compared to the relentless crowds of Rome, the Florentine scene had a more laid-back charm. Not to mention it was another bounty of Renaissance art and sculptures.

The story of a cathedral, a tower, a river and a statue
The skyline of Florence is dominated by two buildings – the Duomo and the Palazzo Vecchio. And together with River Arno, they define the historic city centre of Florence, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982.

The Duomo in Florence.

Duomo, the main cathedral of Florence.

We arrived in Florence in the late afternoon after a 1.5-hour train ride from Rome. After dropping our bags at the hotel, we headed straight to the Duomo, the main cathedral of Florence. With the largest brick dome ever built, the Duomo’s red brick dome can be seen throughout the city.

The Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

The Palazzo Vecchio and its crenellated tower.

Rivalling it in height is the crenellated tower of Palazzo Vecchio at 94 m high. Once the old palace, it is now the town hall of the city and a museum.

River Arno, Florence.

The calm waters of River Arno.

For the remainder of the night, we simply took a stroll along River Arno. The buildings and bridges built around the river were mesmerising, with the most romantic being the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone bridge housing a line of shops. The effect was quadrupled at sundown, when the “mood lighting” came on.

Ponte Vecchio on River Arno, Florence.

Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone bridge on River Arno.

The next morning, we diligently queued to enter the Galleria dell’Accademia, whose famous occupant is none other than Michelangelo’s David. There is also a copy of David in the Piazza della Signoria fronting Palazzo Vecchio, but why settle for that when you can see the actual thing?

Apart from the Galleria dell’Accademia, there are many other awesome museums in Florence such as the Uffizi Gallery, so if you have time (and art history is your cup of tea), you might want to allocate more time to visit them all.

The view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo.

The panoramic view of Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo.

On our last evening, we trekked up to the Piazzale Michelangelo (to work off all the pasta and pizzas we ate). The reward was a panoramic view of Florence and its centrepieces: the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio and River Arno. We stayed through to sunset, which turned out to be a brilliant decision, for when the sun went down, the lights twinkled on and Florence turned into an art piece.


One thought on “Florence: A Charming Scene

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s