Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fantastically Florence

I wasn’t planning to do a lot of things in Florence because I find the city quite dizzying with all it has to offer. But I got a hold of this map provided my hostel which shows all the tourist spots and I could just get there by walking. Since I was used to walking for 6-8 hours a day at this point, I decided to conquer whatever I could.

Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio is the city’s iconic bridge built over the Arno River. Ponte Vecchio is the destination if you want to find relatively cheap jewellery – or so says the travelers that I met. I am not a fan of jewellery so I left the shops alone and admired the buildings surrounding the bridge. Not much to do here if you do not really plan to shop. 

Calm waters. 

Florence's Leather Market
Florence is also famous for its leather market. You can haggle the prices in these shops. Although the leather market is located near the Duomo, there are plenty of shops scattered throughout the city. My first priority in these shops are leather boots. The boots come at a steep price of €200. Ouch - that's too much. I just bought synthetic leather boots for less than €50. At least I got boots from Italy, right? I'll just come back someday and buy a really nice pair.

Chiesa di Santa Maria Novella
Santa Maria Novella Church is located a few steps from city’s train station. I decided to make a short stop to this church before going to Piazzale Michaelangelo.

They charge a minimal entrance fee if you plan to go inside. I was feeling kinda stingy at that time so I decided to just take pictures outside. 

Piazzale Michaelangelo
I had to take Bus no. 13 going to Piazalle Michaelangelo. It was easy finding the bus stop in front of Santa Maria Novella train station but getting the tickets was another matter. I thought that I could buy bus tickets on  the bus. Turns out I had to buy one before boarding the bus. The bus driver asked me to go down and buy a ticket in a nearby tabacchi/tobacco shop. The ticket costs around €2. By the time I got my ticket, the bus already left. I had to wait for the next one.

The bus ride took me around 20 minutes. Luckily, I was sitting. The buses have these terminals where you have to validate your bus tickets. Do not forget to validate your tickets.

This is where you go if you want that postcard picture of Florence.

The Duomo right in the center

Another fake David. In blue-green.

The plaza is filled with souvenir shops... and tourists of course.

View from the other side:

Just before sundown, I headed back to the city. There wasn't much to do in the plaza anyway and I already had my picture taken by a couple of strangers anyway. I've read that you can actually walk down going back to the city but a bus is more comfortable at that time.

My dinner was a "balanced meal" from McDonald's. I ordered quite a bit because I the one who took my order was a Filipina. We communicated in Taglish. Kinda refreshing after speaking English for a couple of days. For €8,50 - I have a drink, salad, burger and fries.   


  1. I was surprised na maganda pala ang florence.I only squeezed it in my itinerary kasi my mom's name is Florence,(masabi lang).It turned out na ang ganda pala.Sana next time may chance ako to explore more of tuscany region.swerte ka that you got to the medieval towns of tuscany.

    1. Florence was very nice, touristy lang talaga. Tuscany is worth another trip to Italy indeed! The towns were nice to explore with a gelato at hand.:)


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