Florence: looking back

I loved Florence. It’s so much better than I expected. It feels familiar, but it isn’t. And the people aren’t rude, despite what I was warned. 
Here it truly looks like Tuscany in the movies with the hills, house colours and styles and the well known buildings. Me and many hundreds of thousands of tourists can’t be wrong, can we.

However, except for the fact I’m booked to fly back to Madrid from here, I wouldn’t plan on coming back. It’s a once in a lifetime visit for me. And, I’m planning on going straight from the train station to the airport when I leave in a bit over a week. 

As you know I’ve not bothered with the endless lines to get into interesting buildings to see stuff. I’ll buy the books. Anything to avoid my Sistine Chapel and Vatican museum experience earlier this year! I’d rather walk and get a feel for a place and I have and I like it. And I don’t care that I’ve seen a different version to people on tour. If I change my mind in future, or get to be a billionaire with better access, most of it will still be here.

Being here again confirms for me how lucky those of us who live in uncrowded counties and towns are. Even in Spain the only time I feel pressured by people is around the Gran Via and some plazas in Madrid and sections of a few very touristy towns like Ronda. The rest of it feels good. Here? The feeling of too many people is exacerbated by us all crowding into the old section, the very narrow streets with footpaths wide enough for one person but carrying many more. 

Before signing off on this place and telling you what’s next here are some different views. Reality pictures, like the doors of the town. It’s not just the door knockers that tell a story.

The doors tell many as well. They tell of everyday accommodation in apartments behind big doors, of houses on the flat and of those on hills, some quite steep. Some make it clear you are unwelcome as a visitor. Others are more circumspect. So, here goes

And some of us just have to look in.


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