As expected, Florence is a stunning city and the birthplace of the Renaissance and that’s still visible today with the painting, the sculpture, and the architecture. Of course my first place to visit was the Piazza del Duomo and the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, “il Duomo di Firenze”. It was started in 1294 and eventually finished in 1436 (with the completion of the dome) There were about a million other tourists in the square, but never mind, it still didn’t take from the incredible nature of the building both inside and out and all the surrounding buildings including Giotto’s Bell Tower.
I’m staying in a lovely apartment on the edge of the suburbs, about 20 minutes bus journey (number 14) to the centre. The bus goes all over the place but that’s not a bad thing as you get to see bits of the city which mightn’t be considered worth visiting. When I got out of the bus a wave of heat hit me, it was hot: 32c but with the narrow streets and tall buildings it was possible to walk in the shade mostly.
I spent the day walking around the city, getting an idea of it’s layout and photographing the most beautiful buildings. It was packed with huge groups of walking tours in all languages.
I’m planning to go to the Uffizi Museum in the next day or two and I’ve seen the huge queues which I believe can be 3 to 4 hours wait. You can book online to avoid queues but the “partner” booking companies are making a handsome profit - €40 was the asking price to get entrance to the Uffizi Museum and the Accademia Gallery but the door price is just €8 each, so I plan to go very early tomorrow, and get there by 7:30 with breakfast to eat in the queue - doors open at 8:15 am.