Sunday, June 26, 2011

Things to do in Florence #1 - Walk up to Piazza Michelangelo

One of the things that was on our agenda to do in Florence was get up to Piazza Michelangelo to see the view looking over the city and to visit a Church. Our starting point was The Pitti Palace which is situated just over the Ponte Vecchio on the south side of the river Arno.

Ponte Vecchio

There is a very complicated ticketing system at the Pitti Palace there are several things to see and you have to be careful to get the right ticket.  We got the one for the costume gallery and to both Boboli and the Bardini Gardens, so that we could walk through the gardens up to our destination.

Pitti Palace
The costume gallery was wonderful, clothes through the ages is one of my old loves, as a child I used to study books of clothes through the centuries and my favourite museum was the Victoria and Albert which has an amazing collection.  This was a very good collection, and they were displayed in style rather than age.  For instance there were dresses from the 20's displayed with a dress from the 60's that had a similar design.  We all enjoyed this (but no pictures allowed) and then we went out to the gardens.

They were formal Italian gardens not a lot of flowers, but full of statues and vistas.  We walked up the gardens ably guided by Connie and her guide book as to how to get to the Piazza Michelangelo.  It was quite warm and we took our time walking up.

Looking back at the Palace
At the top of the gardens you go left out down a winding street to the Bardini gardens.

Walking between the gardens

The Bardini gardens were beautiful with some wonderful views of Florence.

We wandered around the gardens for a while enjoying the peace and views then Connie directed us onwards.  We followed the prescribed route and the road led down the hill, this could only mean one thing; we were going to climb up again.  No complaining we soldiered on.  At the bottom of the hill we were presented with two options slow and steady, or  quick stairs through another garden.  We chose stairs with the rational that this would get the pain over quicker.

When we reached the top the weather was starting to change, we could see the rain coming over the valley and frankly Piazza Michelangelo is a large parking lot with lots of tourists and buses. But the view was spectacular.

Look at the rain coming
The Duomo certainly stands out from the rest of Florence, but you really do not appreciate that until you get a view from above like this.

We could see the weather closing in so we decided abort the last part of this adventure which was to visit a church a short walk away.  (sorry Connie) The quickest way down was by bus, so we got on the first bus going back to the city. We had no idea where it would go, but as soon as we got on it the heavens opened.  It was bucketing with rain so the bus was a good place to be.  Connie followed the route we were going on her trusty map and we realized that we were going to go right by our apartment!

This was a great way to spend an afternoon and we must have walked off some of that pizza and pasta that we had been consuming copious amounts of. Oh and there was an enormous statue of David, but the original we had seen earlier in the museum was far more impressive to me.

Big fake David

For the Romantics in the Audience, wedding photo's in Florence

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