As I mentioned in last week’s post, I was lucky enough to visit two of Italy’s most beloved and beautiful cities over a short break from classes that I was able to enjoy a couple of weeks ago: Venice and Florence.
Now, I loved Venice. It was a dream to visit. The canals and winding streets were so utterly romantic in all the right ways. I was afraid that I would be slightly disappointed in it (a few people have warned me against that very thing), but it did not fail to take my breath away every moment I was there. But I have to say, Florence is my kind of town. While Venice is practically governed by the attraction and satisfaction of tourists, Florence is a real city. Obviously, there are still tons of tourists there, especially this time of year, but for every tourist hustling across the Ponte Vecchio, there is a Florentine on his or her way to work. It was such an enriching experience to spend some quality time there, and take in not only the touristic attractions, but also the more hidden, subtle qualities of life in Firenze.
But that’s not to say that I wasn’t completely blown away by the amount of fantastic historical and cultural monuments and sites.
As you may have already guessed, one of my favorite things about visiting Florence was spending a blissful four hours wandering the halls of the Uffizi Gallery, one of Italy’s greatest museums. It was so amazing to finally see in real life so many paintings that I have known about and studied for years.
Of course, one of the greatest moments for me was seeing Botticelli‘s Birth of Venus and Primavera. What struck me most about them was just how huge they both are – truly larger than life. It’s one thing to see images of them and read their respective dimensions, but it is quite another to stand in front of the beautiful paintings by one of the Renaissance’s greatest artists, completely in awe of the amount of detail in the colossal pieces.
Florence was definitely good to me, and I have a feeling I’ll be back. There’s just too much to see to do it in only a few days.
What’s your favorite city to visit? Do you find yourself finding something new to love about it every time you return?