Florence and the Ponte Vecchio

Florence, day 1, Sunday Church bells. I love church bells and as its 07:30 they must be calling for mass this Sunday (4/9/16) at 08:00 or before. 

First impressions of Florence

The style of the older buildings in Florence is distinct. I know it so well yet I’ve never been here. 

Florence must feature in many representations of Italy.  Many books I’ve read over the years also mention Florence if they involve Italy. Incidentally, I’m reading a book on the pivotal role Venetians had in the middle ages as they developed double entry bookkeeping. Florence at that time was part of an amazingly advanced world.

I didn’t expect this. That it would feel so familiar. I love it, the place and this feeling. 

Don’t, however,  wait for accounts of museums in Florence, what they are like, how long the entry line was and, um, their contents. Equally, don’t wait to hear what the churches here are like inside. I was totally cured of the church bit by the Vatican trip, to the museum, St Peter’s square and the Basilica earlier this year. I still squirm at the mere thought of it. Hmmm, it’s not quite true as I have since visited churches in Cusco (Peru), and one here in Florence. I’ve  loved my visits to those ones. And lines outside a museum? No. I can go to the wonderful anthropological one in Madrid again soon. That’s my quota for May to October 2016. And I’d rather read books. 

The Ponte Vecchio

I had no idea! It’s amazing from both downstream and upstream.

Looking downstream:

And looking upstream:

And from either side of it 

Closer up it looks well loved but beautiful nonetheless.

and, on both sides, the houses adjoining the bridge and those alongside the river are fascinating. And so colourful.

The bridge is lined by quality jewellery shops on both sides and a few thousand of my fellow travellers. 

Both times I’ve crossed it it has had different types of police on duty. Why? Who knows! 

Oh, there are so many tourists here. Most I’ve heard are American or German. And most are college age and in pairs or threes or, middle aged and kept in groups led by flag carriers. Perhaps the middle aged get lost more easily or are they just conditioned through a lifetime of servitude to follow? Older ones? Not a lot on Sunday so I can’t generalise. Perhaps they, wisely, just avoid crowds. Or don’t come here.

Did you guess? The Ponte Vecchio is on my very short list of places or things better than the postcards!  The list so far: Taj Mahal in India, Angka Wat in Cambodia, Incan Trail and Machu Picchu in Peru, Ponte Vecchio in Italy. (There are many contenders with near membership 😊.)


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