1. The Ponte Vecchio
2. In the Piazza del Duomo
3. Ms X in the window of our room at the convent overlooking their gardens
After circling Florence for an hour in the heat (backpacking with our wheels) we finally found the Casa Santo Nome di Jesu Convent (only to realise that in reality it was 15 mins from station if we had taken the correct route). Well, we were not disappointed when we eventually arrived as the place was fantastic, set in beautiful gardens, surrounded by a high wall right in the middle of a bustling city. Our room was huge with a ‘sistine-like’ ceiling, 2 magnificent amories, 3 beds, a bathroom and a view over the gardens.
We made our way to the restaurant recommended by the receptionist with ms X ordering well, however Mr X ordered the Florentine beef, that he believes was still out the back mooing 5 mins before it landed on his plate, and even then it was still breathing.
Only down side of staying in a convent is the fact that they love to ring bells….often! Made our way to the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge that contains many, many jewellery shops and other market-like stalls. Mr X made a purchase of a gold cross for his chain after visiting a multitude of shops. Ms X did some very fancing bartering knocking off 65€ from the starting price and scored a leather coat (…only problem is how to get it in the luggage). In the rain again making our way to see Michaelangelo’s David however, the queue and the rain made us both make an executive decision to skip seeing David (we would catch up on some of M’s work in Rome).
Found ourselves outside the Cathedral di Santa Maria de Fiore in the Piazza del Duomo which suddenly appears out of nowhere and dominates the landscape- it is the only cathedral we have seen (and we are becoming specialists) where the church looks more impressive outside than inside. The exterior has geometrically patterened bands of white, pink and green marble-magnificent. Inside it is a vast emptiness with no pews. After the 2 worst pizzas in the history of mankind, we headed back to the tranquility of our home-away-from home.
Observations of Florence:
  • Everyone smokes (really smokes) everywhere and anytime
  • Everyone has a dog, and they smoke too
  • Motorcyclist dominate the streets
  • Motorcyclists dont like pedestrians one bit. In fact they have a morbid fascination to kill them
  • Aussies on holiday roaming the streets dont like Florentine motorcyclists
  • Florence has the BEST shopping
  • Florentines are smart, stylish and so well groomed (no Donatellas anywhere in sight)
  • Things are neat, well cared for, clean
  • A certain Ms X plans to return one day (with empty suitcase and credit card)