Florence

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Goat Boy
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Florence

Postby Goat Boy » 04 Jan 2019, 15:03

I'm off there in April. Any hints and tips would be great, especially food recommendations.

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Polishgirl
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Re: Florence

Postby Polishgirl » 06 Jan 2019, 00:05

I was there last May. We stayed in an Airbnb in Oltrano, and walked everywhere. The centre is compact. Oltrano is where all the cool little bars and that are - not that I visited any because I'm a sour old harridan, but a bright young thing like you might head there. And it goes on till late.

We did a good, free walking tour - I'll try to find the link. Heavy on the Medici doings ; interesting especially to follow the path of the Vasari Corridor.

Food - can only talk about gelato. Oh God - it's marvellous. Best we had was from a miniscule place called Gelateria Della Passera. They make it all fresh daily. Apparently, the more muted the colour, the more likely it is to be made properly.

The Uffizi is incredible, of course, but overwhelming. Go later in the day, when it's quieter (comparatively speaking ).

Palazzo Pitti also impressive. We were underwhelmed by the gardens, but there are great views over the city.

Absolute highlight was the Ospedale degli Innocenti - a foundling hospital/ orphanage. It's on a gorgeous crumbly old square. Fascinating and really good interactive exhibits, nice rooftop cafe, and a little museum of their art treasures, which features some of the most bonkers Catholic creations ever - eg a tableau of boy dolls in dresses at the crucifixion. Hugely recommended.

Our favourite thing was when we escaped the crowds and went to Siena for the day. Easy train ride, through attractive scenery. The big Campo ( the one that appears in the opening scenes of 'Quantum of Solace' ) and the Duomo are breathtaking, and we liked wandering along the narrow streets.
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Polishgirl
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Re: Florence

Postby Polishgirl » 06 Jan 2019, 15:04

Benvenuto a Firenze

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echolalia wrote: I despise Prefab Sprout. It will be decades before “hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque” is surpassed as the most terrible lyric in pop history. That fucking bastard ruined all three things for me forever.

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Polishgirl
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Re: Florence

Postby Polishgirl » 06 Jan 2019, 15:07

echolalia wrote: I despise Prefab Sprout. It will be decades before “hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque” is surpassed as the most terrible lyric in pop history. That fucking bastard ruined all three things for me forever.

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Goat Boy
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Re: Florence

Postby Goat Boy » 14 Jan 2019, 19:28

Thanks!
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


Copehead wrote:a right wing cretin like Berger....bleating about racism

Positive Passion
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Re: Florence

Postby Positive Passion » 17 Feb 2019, 08:25

I am on my way to Florence at this very moment! We have booked some stuff ahead, including climbing the dome.

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Re: Florence

Postby Positive Passion » 23 Feb 2019, 09:36

So just back from Florence.

It is gorgeous, and as mentioned above the centre is compact, so you just wander around past this or that fantastic 15th century building or that 13th century church.

However Florence is a proper modern city, so it isn't obviously quaint. A passing aquaintance with the artistic and architectural developments in Florence between about 1350 and 1550 is a must, so do some reading first.

Standing in the main square is amazing, as is the Piazza della Signoria, where the statue of David stood for 400 years. There is a replica there now. The original is in the Galleria d'Accademia, an impressive museum of mangeable size, and when you stand in front of it you can really see why it is regarded as one of the greatest sculptures ever.

The same is not true of anything in the Uffizi. I probably just don't know enough about the kind of art in the Uffizi, but frankly it was huge and boring. No doubt every painting in there is a masterpiece, and I suppose you have to go ( though I did not on my first visit to Florence 20 years ago) but nothing really grabbed me, not even Botticelli's famous painting of Venus.

We climbed Bruelleschi's dome, and the Campanile - both excllent adventures. The museum about the Duomo was also syrprisingly good. You can see enough of the main part of the cathedral while climbing the dome, and can skip visiting the main part separately (there is usually a long line as it is free) unless you want to see the very minor remains of the Roman church in the crypt.

Santa Croce, where there are monuments to Dante, Michelangelo etc etc - and Florence Nightingale - is sensational.

On a sunny evening go up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which has glorious views back across Florence - the classic view, if you will.

Our out of town trip was to San Gimignano, a walled hill town between Florence and Siena. It was an hour or so to get there on two local buses - we basically went for the afternoon. It is very quaint, and you could spend hours wandering around it's narrow lanes. In February a lot of the businesses were shut, but their season kicks off in March.

Food - my wife is a tripadvisor fan, so we tended to use that as our guide. I love pasta so basically ate that all the time. I would recommend going to the central market, near the San Lorenzo basilica, one evening - there is a kind of food hall upstairs with lots of food stalls to choose from, and a central seating area. The night we went there was a trio playing eighties classics.

We flew with Ryanair to Pisa airport, and took the train to Florence (about an hour). Accordingly returning we left Florence in time to be able to go and visit the leaning tower of Pisa. This is spectacular in real life, and climbing it is great fun - nice treat at the end of our trip.

Of course we barely scratched the surface of what there is to do in Florence - we did not go to the Palazzo Vecchio, or the Pitti, or the Bargello, or the Medici chapels - but then there is only so much an 11 year old will put up with. However it is as wonderful as it is cracked up to be.