Saturday, 30 April 2011

Florence the second

So the wedding, kind of boring. I watched bits and pieces of it in amongst a fling with making my own spaghetti Carbonara (result: not too shabby). The dress, A-, some room for improvement. The highlight, the flyover of those WWII planes.

But the Florence! That's why we're here. I was out early for groceries and a sniff around my neighbourhood. It's called Oltrarno, which means 'beyond the Arno'. Perhaps not great for morale, naming part of your city as the other part of the city.

The Ponte Vecchio before the crowds arrive. You don't even realise it's a bridge until you get to the break in shops halfway over. They're all jewellery shops, which is a step up from tourist junk, but still. Peek at the Duomo in the background there - well played, town planners.

Upwind (or possibly downwind) from the Ponte Vecchio.

Whichever-wind the last one wasn't from the Ponte Vecchio.

The side of the Ponte Vecchio itself. It's alarming to see all those flash jewellery shops are just tacked onto the side of the bridge like some kind of barnacle-shacks.

Out again in the afternoon in search of a view (Florence goes quite steeply uphill on this side of the river).

The Gate of the Giants. Florence is on pretty good terms with the giants, but the gates are still shut every day at sundown, just to be safe. Also, may actually be Porta Romana.

Muahahaha. As I walked I plotted some schemes. And maybe also schemed some plots.

It rained! Finally! The first rain I've had - and thank goodness too, I bought an umbrella (pictured, oops) especially to bring with me and I was getting cross at its superfluousness. I don't know what this garden is. It's not labelled on the map so it could be someone's backyard.

The umbrella paying its way.

Oh no, the Swiss are invading! We'll all be prodded to death with blunt knives. Or is it the Danish? We'll all have sticky pastries flung at our heads. I don't even know. But the tower is part of San Miniato al Monte, which I'll return to when I'm not all drippity drip.

These narrow streets with high buildings don't sit well with my suburban preferences. Even on the footpath you're in constant danger of having your elbow clipped by a passing bus (yes, buses go down them - my apartment glows like a jar of honey every time an orange bus passes beneath the windows), and the echoes of every vehicle and person are deafening.

Hey! Shoo! Back to Venice, winged lion.

I need to make some actual plans, otherwise my time in Florence will be all aimless wandering and no actual seeing of anything. Excitingly, tomorrow is some kind of special late night party so there should be plenty to marvel at, and all the museums are free and open until midnight, so I might see if I can sneak in to look at David and naked chick riding a clam.


  1. Alfred Valentine mocks your confusion! I guess I do, too.