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Florence, I See Your Attraction

Florence, I See Your Attraction

The first morning in Florence gave me flashbacks to home and the beautiful summer weather I had said goodbye to just a few months earlier. Feeling the aussie spirit I donned my aussie uniform (that’s shorts an a singlet to the rest of you) and made for a place I had marked as a must visit if I ever landed in Florence.

This was of course Giardini di Boboli. Suzy had actually planted the seed for this visit long ago thanks to a post she wrote about the gardens. I don’t know if it was just how she described them or not, but there was a definite desire to go and explore for myself.

Heading into the gardens I was shocked to have to put up 10 euro to enter. I actually paused at that moment and for a second wondered if I really wanted to set foot inside that bad. I was getting to the end of my tour in Europe and wanted my money to last as long as possible for London. This was just a garden after all, it couldn’t be worth that much money. Besides in this heat I could get a couple of beers to cool me down or almost a night’s stay in a hostel for that.

It was only after I reminded myself I came to explore Europe that I laid the money in the attendants hand and strolled off to spend the morning in the Boboli Gardens. I got lost among the green pathways, I people watched, I admired the views of Florence and by the time I walked out the gates a couple of hours later I had completely forgotten about the money spent.

Florence Boboli Gardens

It was at this time I scored my personal tour of Florence thanks to Suzy’s We Come To You Tour Group. I was collected from outside the gardens and off we went into the streets of Florence. First stop was a quaint little sandwich shop nestled into the wall of a building. Don’t ask me how to find it but damn if I ever go back I’m making Suzy give me directions to those cheap tasty sandwiches.

Food in hand we made our way past the Duomo. My only complaint (apart from it’s color) is that due to the piazza it’s located in, it is almost impossible to get a decent photo capturing it all.

Florence Duomo

From the Duomo I was navigated through the streets and up some never-ending stairs to Piazzale Michelangelo. I’ll admit the stairs were worth it in the end to get such a great view back at Florence.

Florence Piazza Michelangelo

By this stage it was time Suzy got her own things done and stopped playing babysitter to me. We made for our respective homes but not before I stopped to grab something I’d be dieing to get.

Florence Gelato

A few short hours later and I was back together with Suzy, as well as Annie and her boyfriend Lorenzo. This time we gathered at a little pizza restaurant and I ordered up the first of many pizzas I would consume while in Italy.

First impressions… well where do I start. Beautiful city, great friends and I was eating pizza IN Italy. I’d say a big thumbs up wouldn’t you??

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18 Responses to Florence, I See Your Attraction

  1. LAUREN January 20, 2011 at 3:33 AM #

    Loved the Duomo and the gelato when I was there. Glad you enjoyed.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 20, 2011 at 8:38 PM #

      Lauren the Gelato was awesome, between that and the pizza it was hard to dislike italy.

  2. AYNGELINA January 20, 2011 at 3:51 AM #

    Duomo and gelato, a perfect day!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 20, 2011 at 8:41 PM #

      Ayngelina, once you add the beer and pizza to that list as well its like the best day ever 🙂

  3. JILL - JACK AND JILL TRAVEL THE WORLD January 20, 2011 at 4:03 PM #

    Rome drew me in in a way that Florence never did. But don’t get me wrong, Florence is still beautiful but my heart belongs to chaotic Rome 🙂

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 20, 2011 at 8:42 PM #

      Jill I’ve not made it to Rome as yet. I left it for when I had more time to stop and enjoy. But from what I have heard it sure is chaotic.

  4. ANDREW January 20, 2011 at 7:06 PM #

    Florence was kind of anti-climactic for me. I had spent a week in Bologna which has far fewer tourists. Florence felt a bit too much like an Disney Ideal of Italy.
    I did love the gelato. I had the best flavor ever there. Really well done Chili-Chocolate. The sweet hit then the chili flavor built to a burn until you it with more sweet.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 20, 2011 at 8:52 PM #

      Andrew I guess my views of Florence are joyed by the fact I got to hang out with both Annie and Suzy while there.

      I did see Chilli-Chocolate but just couldn’t bring myself to try it, next time though its so on.

  5. MATT January 20, 2011 at 8:17 PM #

    I didn’t make it to Florence, but I’ve heard mixed reviews from other travelers – glad you know you enjoyed it

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 20, 2011 at 8:59 PM #

      Matt I found it rather chill and relaxing to be honest. Yes I had friends to hang out with so that helped, but I could easily stay there and take time out.

  6. LOIS January 21, 2011 at 12:05 PM #

    Florence..one of my most favorite parts of the world! The food, the art, the people, and most of all the Vino of Tuscany. How could you not like it!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 22, 2011 at 10:03 PM #

      haha Lois it was a lot of fun there and when I had others to show me about it was even better.

  7. SUZY January 21, 2011 at 11:45 PM #

    I used to be like many in your comments here. The first time I visited Florence, the city left no real impression on me. I came back and studied in the city, living with an elderly Florentine couple. They completely changed how I saw the city. I also got to experience winter in Florence, without the crowds. The city is an outdoor museum. The Renaissance architecture is so well preserved you can actually feel like you are in a dream. For all of the skeptics in your comments here Chris, I recommend trying Florence again, staying with locals and going in the off season. Then you can say you don’t like it ha.

    I’m glad I could be a tour guide. Sorry for all of the stairs in the heat of the day ha.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 22, 2011 at 10:06 PM #

      Suzy I totally agree with you about Florence being an outdoor museum. My experience is different to most others in that I had both you and Annie to help me explore and appreciate the city.

      I could quite easily go back now because it was just so relaxing. Mind you, you might have to come back too so I don’t lost.

  8. ANNIE January 22, 2011 at 6:52 PM #

    Thumbs up for Florence!

    I’m sad I missed your guys’ Boboli and Piazzale tours, stupid job!!

    Glad I got to join you for the evening though! You’re lucky that you had our local Florence expert Suzy to show you around! 🙂

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 22, 2011 at 10:08 PM #

      haha Annie, a job you no longer have as well. Not to worry, unless Suzy is back there this summer I might drop by for another visit and will need a tour guide then.

  9. LAURA January 22, 2011 at 10:39 PM #

    I loved Florence! I made a couple of trips up to Piazzale Michalangelo- one at night for some great shots of the Duomo and another on a run. Such a beautiful city!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 23, 2011 at 5:51 PM #

      Laura I never even thought to head up to the Piazzale Michalangelo for a night shot, would have been a great photo I’m sure.

      It really is a beautiful city, and for me it felt very relaxed. I never got the impression of being rushed while there.

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