Our day starts with a walk around the City but our focus today is the Uffizi Museum located in the Piazza della Signoria in the center of Florence. One of the largest in the world and most visited in Italy, Uffizi holds Italian’s priceless masterpieces and works of art in its nearly 50 exhibit halls.
We have bought tickets online to visit the Uffizi at 2:00 PM but since we arrive early, they allow us to join the crowd and go in. Everyone is directed to go to the top floor of this huge three-story U-shape building because that’s where the exhibits begin. People would walk down on side of the U-shape building, back the other side, then go down one floor and repeat the process until they reach the ground floor to exit.
The Uffizi displays a huge collection of Italian Renaissance arts and it has been said it would take weeks to see everything and so before we go, I had reviewed the exhibits, decided on only a few pieces that I would like to see, and determined the rooms in which the pieces are located so I thought I had come very prepared. But I find out I wasn’t prepared enough because the Uffizi is so big, the rooms are not very well marked, we constantly have to fight through crowds including throngs of tour groups and people whose main interest is taking the photographs of the more famous pieces. On top of all this, it’s hot inside the building and the air conditioning system is not working very well.
But I get to see all the pieces I wanted to see.
We finish our visit with pleasant refreshments on the Uffizi patio café on a sunny and warm afternoon. Overall, the three-hour visit is worth it but I don’t know about visiting the Uffizi in the peak summer months when it would be even more crowded.
and buying souvenirs
Walking around town
Florence narrow sidewalk
Our walk takes us to the Vecchio Bridge
View of Vecchio Bridge from Santa Trinita Bridge
Arno River from Uffizi Museum
Santa Maria Novella Church by the main train station
On way to Uffizi Museum
Ghirlandaio's 'Madonna and Child'
Major piece here. Botticelli's 'The Birth of Venus'
Leaving the museum, we let ourselves getting lost in this pedestrian-friendly city. We wander around looking at buildings, shops, small and large churches, then we run into a neat little sidewalk café in the Piazza del Peruzzi and decide to have a very late lunch here.
Wandering in Florence on our last day here
Caravaggio's 'Sacrifice of Isaac'
Suttermans' 'Portrai of Galileo Galilei'
One of the last pieces we see. Tiziano's "Venus of Urbino'
Walking towards Piaazale Michelangelo, The street is steep
Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
Walking across Arno River towards Piazzale Michelangelo
We keep going up
Trying to walk off the lunch, we start towards Piazzale Michelangelo on the other side of Arno River where we hope we can get a real good view of Florence as the sun is setting. Climbing up the steep streets, and numerous steps to reach the Piazzale is a very strenuous exercise but like climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa yesterday, we reach the last step without problems.
We finally reach Piazzale Michelangelo and its terrace
Stock picture of Uffizi Museum
Inside the museum
Some of the pieces I get to see. Leonardo da Vinci's 'Adoration of the Maji'
Rembrandt's 'Self Portrait'
Taking a break at the Museum patio cafe
The Duomo can be seen from here
We sit down at this tiny restaurant for a very late lunch
Lunch is served
Osteri Adelle Brache Restaurant
At about 8:00 PM, the Piazza is full of people waiting for the sunset and they are surrounded by kiosks selling fruits, drinks, and souvenirs. Piazzale Michelangelo sits high on the south side of the river and because of its altitude, one can sit on a step of the piazza terrace and get a great view of the city especially the Duomo and its famous red-tile cupola. Unfortunately, the sun is too intense this afternoon and it would take too long for the sun to start setting (around 9:00 PM), we decide to head back to our hotel. Not in the walking mood, we buy two bus tickets for 3 Euros and climb on Bus 13 which takes us back to near the train station and our hotel.
Our days in Florence has ended and we’re ready for the next leg of our trip which is a 5-day stay in Seville where we will join some of our friends from Belgium.
Florence near sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo. Good bye for now.