Florence

The following day was set to be as warm as the last so we, a little reluctantly (!) decided to get up mega early and get into Florence in good time to avoid the Uffizi queues. We were parked up by 8:30/9am (it took just under an hour from the campsite) and we headed straight to the Uffizi, the queue was already ridiculously long, so we joined another queue to get timed tickets for later in the day. We managed to get them for 12 o’clock, which gave us a good few hours to wonder around the rest of Florence. We did the usual tourist sights: the cathedral, the Palazzo Vecchio with the grand town hall, the Piazza della Signoria with the statue of David, Santa Croce with Florence’s ‘Westminster Abbey’, then over the Ponte Vecchio, the old bridge lined with silversmiths, up to the Pitti palace, then back over the bridge to join the queue at the Uffizi. We joined the wrong queue. Even now we don’t know what the queue was for, but 45 minutes into queuing and not moving very fast at all, we decided to check with someone where we should actually go, it was really badly laid out, I think because they were doing lots building work on the Uffizi, so everything was very haphazard. Anyway, we finally joined the correct queue that was only 30 people long instead of 200 people long and in we went, up the large staircase and through the rooms filled to the brim with Renaissance art. We saw the famous Birth of Venus by Botticelli, The Annunciation by Leonard da Vinci and The Holy Family by Michelangelo, to name but a few. A couple of hours later we exited the Uffizi into ridiculous heat. We aimed straight for the truck, worried that Jake would be baking in the caravan. The truck thermometer read 34 degrees-mental! Thank god we went early in the morning.

Florence was one of the top 3 places I was most excited about visiting before we left for Europe, maybe having such high expectations was the problem, but we just weren’t blown away by it, I think it was mainly down to the ridiculous amount of tourists, or maybe we just needed one more day to soak it up properly…

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