Viva Firenze – Encore

by Chryssie

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Florence has stolen a piece of my heart and I’m totally okay not to get it back. All it means is I’ll have to occasionally visit to feel whole again.

Any visit to Florence is not complete without a visit to the Uffizi. World famous, and rightly so, this gallery sits right on the River Arno, a beautiful U shaped construction that is a former palace. It hasn’t lost its majesty, and lining the interior courtyard are small alcoves, each containing an immaculate life-size statue.

Like the Mona Lisa being the drawcard for a visit to the Louvre for many, here it is Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus  that has tourists lining up for more. But of course, there is so much more to see. Paintings upon paintings upon paintings. I always wonder in my art ignorance what makes one painting rise to fame over another – to me there are so many unbelievably magnificent pieces I find it hard to distinguish the skill involved.

But it’s not only the artwork that held my attention – the whole entire building itself is a piece of art. The corridors are awe-inspiring and particular rooms that are roped off and all you get is the chance to peek your head in – those are true beauties.

Halfway through the winding building, you emerge onto a rooftop cafe, laden with flowers and water fountains and here you are surrounded by the terracotta red of Tuscan roofs. I highly recommend a cold drink in the sun.

After this, continuing the cultural immersion, we ticked off Michaelangelo’s David. From the lobby you round the corner and there he stands, larger than life, at the end of the walkway. I think I actually gasped.

On our last day, we visited the Boboli Gardens that surround the old palace. Greenery stretched upward as we climbed to the top where hedges and pink flowers bloomed in a private sanctuary. It’s a place of many worlds – magical leaf covered tunnels that stretched further than your eye, century old trees that stood tall and proud in uniform rows, painters standing at their easels as they watched couples in love on park benches.

We spent hours wandering through and once you get to the edge, you start to see the Tuscany you already have in your mind – wide green fields spotted with the occasional villa. I couldn’t wait to get down there.