I’m more of a video guy. For tons of great info and great writing about Firenze, see Melynda’s blog at TravelingMel.com.
I’m hoping to make this blog much more scopophilic.
I came to Florence, Italy (here on referred to as Firenze) 20 years ago. I studied Italian at Scuola Lorenzo De Medici in the mornings and explored the city in the afternoon and evening. You would expect a city that has been around for 1000 years not to change much in 20 and, really, it hasn’t. A few small things have changed though, at least from my memory.
- There aren’t many self service pizza places. I used to live off this stuff. They have a big selection of square pizzas and you tell them how much you want of each and they sell it by weight. The one place I went this trip sold fixed size and it was pricey.
- There are even more people here now, even in the off season. But they are different people. Japanese tour groups are now Chinese. The touts are Bangladeshi or Middle Eastern instead of Central American. The tours have ear buds that let the tour guide speak softly and still be heard.
- The inescapable smell of diesel exhaust is GONE. I love this.
- Less urine smell too.
- At least one of the bars I used to go to (The Red Garter) is now mainstream.
- You have to pay to get into many of the churches in Firenze. (Duomo is still free for the cathedral but Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella are not)
- They check for bus tickets
Some of the changes are good, and some just different. I’m different. And perhaps my memory is a bit malleable over time. But now I’m here with my family and Firenze is still a fantastic place. Our Airbnb is in the very center which is louder than we’d like but easy to get just about anywhere. I saw the David which I somehow avoided before and it was SPECTACULAR. Best of all, I get to share it with Melynda and the boys. I’ve got a digital camera that lets me shoot and process dozens of pics now and cell service makes navigation and information almost easy.
Here’s a few (lots) photos from the first couple of weeks.
CLICK on any photo to bring up a slide show.