Florence is overwhelmingly full. Full of history, full of fascinating beginnings, and, unfortunately, full of a few long lines. The sheer amount of brilliant minds that have come and gone through Florence will make you feel like your life has not been lived to the fullest. I left determined to live by the words of Suzanne Weyn – “Your life is an occasion. Rise to it”
The Topdeckers got an early jump start on the day, and we had a Sunday morning tour of the city. Because Florence revolves around the church’s center, it seemed appropriate to see it at this reverent time of day. As we walked across the Ponte Vecchio and learned about its specific history in WWII, the church bells began ringing out the time. It just felt like we were a little closer to heaven.
Florence has influenced some of the most respected and brightest minds that history has ever known. Michelangelo, Leonardo de Vinci, Galileo, Dante, the Medici family, Guccio Gucci, and Roberto Cavalli are just a few that called Florence home. Because so many tourists want to experience the wonders of Florence for themselves, it generally means long queues (queues is Aussie and Kiwi talk for long lines). I would highly recommend considering to pay the extra cash to skip certain lines. Florence truly is a must see if you’re in Italy, but give yourself plenty of time to slowly dissect the city and wait through lines.
Traveler Tip – make sure you know where ticket entrances are. Most people just stand around because they don’t know where to start. If you can be organized and strategic, you can save quite a bit of time.
A few of us Topdeckers decided to explore west Florence to try and escape the noise of tourists. We didn’t have to go far to find quiet streets with great patio restaurants. We stopped for lunch, and I had another pizza (shocker). One thing I’ve enjoyed about Europe is having quality time during meals. Being able to stop, reflect, and eat is a pretty great set up.
The camping grounds we stayed at while in Florence were unbelievable. Many of us Topdeckers referred to Camping Girasole as a resort more than a camp ground. The cabins were again small, but with all the things the resort offered, we rarely stayed in them. There were about three restaurants to choose from, a wine store, a grocery store, a pharmacy, a gelato café, a rope’s course, an arcade room, four pools, a gym, a salon, a club…… the list could go on, but you get the point. It has tons of stuff. It was a great time staying in this little town surrounded by the Tuscan hills, and we were sad to leave it behind.
What I ate in Florence:
- Pizza – I feel like I should be ashamed of how much pizza I consumed while in Italy, but I regret nothing.
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