Let me say right now that I am no art afficionado. Indeed my appreciation of art runs no deeper than saying “Oh that’s nice” when confronted with a beautiful painting or sculpture. It may be surprising, therefore, to the reading several that I could be found, slightly blurry-eyed, outside the Uffizi Gallery just before 8am this morning.
I’m in Florence though, so even an art philistine like me should go to the Uffizi. As one of the first people in, it was lovely to walk around the almost empty corridors. Obviously I’m not going to provide a review of the pieces I saw, as that would just sport with the intelligence of those among you who know anything about art. Suffice to say I muttered “Oh that’s nice” to myself on multiple occasions.
Theres a cafe on the second floor that has lovely views of the rooftops of Florence, including the Duomo. After concluding my tour I paid a visit to Porcellino, the bronze boar of Florence. I rubbed his snout for good luck as is customary. I made my way back to my apartment, by way of the cathedral, the statue of David in Piazza della Signoria, and a market at the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata.
I was feeling a little tired after my travelling and early morning start, and needed to do some washing…so didn’t venture out again until mid-afternoon. However I intended to make the most of the rest of the day and walked as much as I could around the city.
First stop was Basilica di Santa Maria Novella (adjacent to the main railway station which takes its name). The weather was far more clement than the predicted thunderstorms, and after looking around the church I crossed the Arno on the Ponte Alla Carraia and found myself in Piazza Santa Spirito. I enjoyed an aperol spritz (the stuff is very addictive) in the shadow of the church, before walking a short distance to the Palazzo Pitti. The gallery had shut for the day but the imposing building was an impressive sight, and provided the backdrop for photos of some newlyweds.
From there it was back accross the Arno (with some gorgeous views of the hills overlooking Florence) and a lovely evening stroll through the streets of Florence, from Santa Croce, past the duomo and back to my hotel – stopping off for liquid refreshment on the way and enjoying the buzzy atmosphere of the city on a Saturday night. A nightcap in the garden of my apartment before calling it a night, with another full day in this beautiful city to come.