Yes, that’s correct! The city was kind enough to let me spend a night in and enjoy Sunday on it’s record-busy streets! Why record busy? Well. That was Easter Sunday and it happened to be a day of celebrations and Explosion of the Cart on the main square! Also a brilliant weather all-round the clock. Plenty of things to do and see!
Oh wait. An explosion?
Yeah. A loud one. A very old tradition (well over 300 years old!) – Esplosione del Carro. It all starts during Easter Sunday mass when the Archbishop of Florence lights up a rocket called Colombina that symbolizes the Holy Spirit. This rocket then flies on a line to the cart standing in front of the Cathedral and sets it on fire for the amusement of all watching. Its basically daytime fireworks! Be warned though. It’s super loud and the area super congested by the crowds so if you want to take kids there – make sure they are tolerant to loud noises ! Dog lovers – keep your pupils far, far away.
The waiting time was well over an hour (the space on the square is limited so to see anything you gotta get there relatively early! At least 1h before). The show lasts for few minutes and once it finishes it takes another 20 minutes to get out (crowds). An experience and definitely recommended! Once I got out I decided to walk around in random direction. I was lucky enough to be shown a place with a nice roof-top cafe with some marvelous views! What more can one ask for?! 🙂
Walking around the town was a pleasure (forget the crowds). I ventured to the Town Hall, nearby open air museum and Galleria Uffizi. Further down to the river, and over to the Piazzale Michelangelo for the daytime shots of the skyline. Florence from above is as beautiful as from the ground level. I enjoyed the views with some (not-so-good) ice cream and a cup of coffee. I think visiting the place is a must. It’s not difficult to climb up the hill but soooooo rewarding!
When it comes to eating in Florence one has broad choice. There is literally hundreds if not thousands of bars and restaurants across the city. I was recommended to go to the city’s main food hall called Mercato Centrale. Going there on a bank holiday day during lunch time might not be a brilliant idea, but the food served if affordable and tasty! I went for a traditional dish (yeah, you have guessed right – a pizza!!!), and I was very pleased. Most likely not the best I have ever eaten, but tasting great nonetheless. If you want to go for something more sophisticated – various cuisines are offered. Something for everybody.
I had to leave the city early in the evening catching a train to Milan. And speaking of which – traveling by trains in Italy is affordable if you book in advance. Some trains go up to 300km/h making traveling between cities a relatively cheap pleasure (especially when you compare it to the train fares in UK…). So why not take a flight to one city, travel by train across the country and fly back home from a completely different airport 200 miles away? Been there, done that. Approved 🙂
I guess I do not need to convince anybody to come to Florence, as the pictures are self-explanatory. It’s a gem not to be missed on your trip to Italy. It’s just a pity that the whole world is already aware of it’s beauty and having the city just for yourself will never be an option. But I’m sure you will be amazed, dear reader. Well amazed.
Have a look in the gallery and enjoy!