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Luxury Patrol: Florence, Italy


Quick Overview

FLORENCE - MAJESTIC PLACE OF THE  BIRTH OF THE  ITALIAN RENAISSANCE. HOME TO THE MEDICIS - LORENZO THE MAGNIFICENT and all those other famous men, and even CATHERINE de MEDICI, later to be Queen of France. It is where Machiavelli wrote his tale of political backstabbing and maneuvering  - THE PRINCE.  And where Michelangelo left lasting treasures in the streets, squares and museums of this medieval living Museum.

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FLORENCE is my favorite Italian city, for many reasons.  One big plus being its position almost in the center of the country so easily accessed by plane, train and car.  And, it is surrounded by some of God's most beautiful acres anywhere on earth.  Tuscany and Umbria widely recognized around the world as Italian places in Paradise surround the city, and are just short rides away.


A traditional City-state ruled by a "Royal" family, Florence came to prominence under the Medicis in the 15th Century.  Like all families it had its good people, and its evil ones.  The good built the most beautiful buildings and palaces seen anywhere in Italy.  The evil ones, had a bad habit of killing people they didn't like. It left the city in constant turmoil.  But, throughout the turmoil great artists and musicians came to Florence to ply their wares. None more famous than Michelangelo, whose Masterwork, The David is the glittering crown in the center of the Academia Gallery.  To see it up close is to gasp at the skill and imagination of Michelangelo. And, when the lines are too long at the Museum, you can enjoy the perfection of this Statue in display in the open air of the square around the Duomo, and close to the Uffizi Gallery.


Brancusi left his mark on Florence with his famous doors to the Duomo.  The Baptismal doors depict the  life of Christ in different scenes. Life in Florence revolves around the  Duomo Square, with roads leading into and out of the Square and on to other major attractions.  Open air restaurants, carriage rides, flying pigeons, all add to the noise and vitality of the area.   And the major leather, food, and souvenir markets are in the immediate vicinity. A whole morning, or day, can be spent here viewing the historical, and buying great leather wares and gifts for friends of all ages. 


Florence is also known for its amazing Gold jewelry.  Brought from around the world, the gold glitters and glints from shops on every street corner. But, the greatest concentration is on the famed Ponte Vecchio, the famous Old Bridge, where fortunes change hands every day.  Florence is also known for its local crafts, woolens, silks, woodwork, leather bags and accessories.  And Italian shoes!!! With leather as soft as butter and as colorful as the rainbow.


I've always found nowadays when traveling, and wanting to see the most visited tourists sites in any city, the answer is to get up early and be among the first in line to visit the place.  Lines build up all day long, and the wait in the baking sun is interminable.  Even prior bought timed tickets don't always work, but being there at opening time, is the best way to see anything fabulous, up-close and without the noise of cacophonous voices. 


Being inside FLORENCE is a great treat for the eye, the ear and the heart.  But, seeing it from a distance on the Piazzale Michelango across the river is breathtaking.  Set high on a hill, panoramic views of the city are spectacular. If you can't walk it, local buses take you there for pennies.   


FOOD, WINE, OLIVE OIL, PASTA. GELATO, DOLCI.... are in plentiful supply everywhere in the City.  So stop, plop, and enjoy the street scene, just as exciting and fulfilling as long hours spent touring spectacular museums.


November 15, 2022


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