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2017 Lucca, Italy (Firenze visit) 10/3

Written by Jeff Drake
11 · 19 · 17

Today we visited Florence, Italy. For Lisa and I this was a “revisit”, as we were here in 2009. At that time, Florence threw me for a loop. It was my own fault, as I had serious misperceptions as to what I would find in Florence. In 2009, I had just visited Rome and then spent several beautiful days at our agriturismo, when we went to Florence. Finding a hustling, bustling, city was not what I expected (or wanted)!

I have to admit that I enjoyed this visit to Florence more than the first – and that’s a good thing. Lisa and I skipped the museums, as we had seen the art we wanted to see in 2009 (David, et al). This time we revisited the Duomo, which was sooo much easier to get into around 4pm than it was at 10am! We were glad we waited. The inside is interesting, but if we had spent an hour waiting in line to get in, we’d have been unhappy.  The interior of the Duomo used to be full of things apparently, but time and a flood in 1996, scrubbed the interior clean of “stuff”.

This trip we were fortunate that Mike pointed out a walk to Piazzala Michelangelo as it provides a vista overlooking the city. I call Mike the “hill guy” since, for some reason, his “points of interest” always seem to lead to a hill or lots of steps! Yet, we are always happy to have made the trek! Today was no different – great views of Florence, sure!

Piazzala Michelangelo is across the River Arno (a short walk across Ponte Vechio). I remember Ponte Vechio from 2009. This trip there are fewer artists, which is too bad, I think. Still, Ponte Vechio is steeped in history! Across the upper part of the covered bridge you can see windows along the private walkway that the Medici used to use to cross the bridge (not one to mix with the local rabble). The Medici are, of course, the financial overlords of Florence way back in the 14-1500’s. I won’t go into all the things the Medici were responsible for, but checking accounts and the banking system are a couple.

In the 14-1500’s, the Ponte Vechio bridge was used to sell meat and food, lots of butcher shops! The Medici put an end to that. I guess it offended their sensibilities, so they threw the butchers out and replaced them with silver and gold merchants and jewelers, so today (sadly, perhaps) is a very close resemblance to at least the “spirit” of the Medicis!



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Jeff Drake

Retired IT consultant, world-traveler, hobby photographer, and philosopher.