We booked a water taxi from the hotel to the railway station. It was a good deal more expensive than our trolley man when we arrived, but it was quick and also it gave us a chance for a boat ride on the canals. The train ride, as we have come to expect, was really comfortable and fast, and in just a couple of hours we were in Florence.
I was really looking forward to seeing our accommodation, as it is our first stay in an AirBnB. I booked the place in a historic area of the city within walking distance of some of the tourist highlights. We weren’t disappointed. As you can see from the set of photos below, it is clean and well stocked with everything we are likely to need during our five night stay. It’s on the ground floor of a large building that occupies one side of the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, and apparently elsewhere in this building is museum housing Michelangelo’s David. We’ll probably go looking for him tomorrow. As the photos show, the piazza also hosts another museum, a large bronze statue and a couple of fountains. And right at the far end of the street, maybe two hundred metres away, is the Duomo of the Santa Marie Cathedral of Florence. Wow!
It was mid-afternoon by the time we left the apartment and walked down to the cathedral. At that time of day there were really long queues to get into both the cathedral and the baptistry. Even the skip-the-line queue was long and not moving. So we decided to leave our visit to another day and we’ll make sure we get there early in the morning before the lines get too long. Instead we bought our 3-day cathedral tickets, which also give entry to the adjacent museum, and we spent time in there learning about Brunelleschi and the magnificent dome he designed. The museum housed some of the art treasures connected with the cathedral, and the two that fascinated we most were the wooden scale models of the dome constructed by Brunelleschi before he built the real thing, and the unfinished Pieta by Michelangelo, which he apparently abandoned and mutilated after he found flaws in the marble. Thankfully it was salvaged and restored.
We walked down through the town towards the river, and the next building of interest we passed was the Palazzo Vecchio, with its rather unusual shaped tower. The palazzo has been Florence’s city hall since the medieval era. We’ll try to have a look inside if time permits over the next few days here. And right alongside the palazzo we found the Uffizi, which I’ll write about in my next post.