Everybody always said to me that I must go to Florence. It was billed as the absolute diamond on the crown of Europe. I therefore travelled to the capital of Tuscany with high hopes, only to return bitterly disappointed.
OK, the cathedral was beautiful and the covered bridge very impressive, but apart from that Firenze to give its proper name failed to deliver for me.
We went in March to avoid the crowds and flew into beautiful Pisa sunshine, perfect for strolling around the piazzas and taking in the iconic leaning tower. From the moment our train arrived in Florence our experience took a downward curve.
Firstly the sunshine turned into incessant rain and secondly the hotel we had booked belied its 8+ rating on the booking site by actually being a bit of a dump.
Despite it being more late winter than early spring, there were still crowds. The queue for the Uffizi was an hour long, which we endured in the rain only to find the much anticipated gallery a dirty and stressful disappointment.
No matter, Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia Gallery will improve the spirit surely? Unfortunately not, those crowds again and the famous statue was covered in scaffolding.
The rain refused to yield for our entire two night stay and to add insult to injury, how about a dose of food poisoning courtesy of some dodgy mushroom pate? Splendid!
As Zebedee used to say to another Florence in the Magic Roundabout, “time for bed.”
So, forgive me if I have painted a less than flattering portrait, but the birthplace of Renaissance did not do it for me. I hope others are more fortunate.
YES!! Someone else who wasn’t impressed with Florence! I was starting to think I should perhaps make a second trip there because surely I was just not in a good mood the first time.
I was there in the stinking heat of August. Between the suffocating heat and choking exhaust fumes of those incessantly whining motor scooters, I just wanted to beat a hasty retreat.
There are many nicer places with less hype and crowds but it is obligatory to do the Venices and Barcelonas too and have to try and beat the crowds with early starts and out of season visits. Unfortunately some places are always crowded!
If you go to Puglia br sure to visit Lecce – The Florence of the South!
I enjoyed Firenze when I was there, but a lot of the joy came from seeing the David, which is just incredible. Shame you didn’t get to see it without the scaffolding.
Bummer about David being covered by a scaffold. I’ve seen a life-sized replica at an Moscow museum