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.