Flowing in Florence – Part 2
《Places of Interest》
Besides works from the art masters, another beauty in the City of Art is the sunset. The sunset in Florence is beautiful beyond words. During my stay here, I will visit the sunset on the bridge whenever I can. I’ve taken a 2-week Italian course in the morning and Sculpture class in the afternoon. Every weekday, I start my classes at 9a.m. and finish at 7p.m. with a break from 1p.m. to 3p.m.
Posing with my sculpture during class
My morning routine is a rush as I follow my memory in tracking the routes from home to school. However, during most days, I always steal a little time to pause and snap some photos on the bridge. The morning scene on the bridge is another beautiful sight to behold!
Day view of Fiume Arno The sky in Florence turns dark at around 8.30p.m. This gives me an opportunity to take a brisk stroll in the city after my Sculpture classes before I come to rest at the bridge to wait for THE moment. It feels like having a date with the sunset. Ponte Vecchio is the bridge where most tourists gather to catch this beautiful sight over Fiumi Arno (Arno River). However, other bridges provide an equally breathtaking view. For me, it is usually Ponte Alla Carraia.
Night view of Fiume Arno on Ponte Vecchio
Piazza della Repubblica (Republic Square) has been serving as the Centre of the City since Roman Times. People are in a leisure pace here. You can relax in one of the surrounding restaurants while sinking into your imagination of brushing shoulders with the genius artists from centuries ago. Or, you can take a seat on a bench while watching gleeful children (and parents) riding on a Carousel. Priceless moment!
Uffizi Gallery is one of the world’s most famous and oldest art museums. Walking along its long corridors transports me into another space as I look down on Fiume Arno (Arno River) flowing between old buildings of grandeur. The landscape of hills and the river call to my memory of some resemblance to the landscape behind Mona Lisa. Indulging in the works of the art masters here, to finally see the magnificent works of Caravaggio sent chills to my spine.
[The Head of Medusa] by Caravaggio at Uffizi Gallery
A trip is always made more memorable with some shopping for souvenirs for family and friends back home or a gift to yourself!In the centre of Florence, there are many quaint little stores along the streets. Each window display is inviting and aesthetic from designer shoes to bags of spices! I must say that the window dressers are remarkable! In a city where paintings, sculptures and architectures decorate generously, the window displays lend another aesthetic beauty to the eyes of the beholder!
The Window Display of Salvatore Ferragamo
Spices for sale in the market Everywhere you roam, you can easily see Pinocchio. This is the world-famous fairytale from Italy! It has also traveled across the world into my little portable library (they were on 4 wheels!) which my father made for my brothers and I when we were little. I loved to pull out the storybook of Pinocchio and read it again and again. After almost 30 years, when my eyes are again set on this puppet boy with smiles as sweet as his rosy cheeks but are still not able to conceal the effect of his long nose, I just fall madly and deeply in love with this boy of mischief! I feel like a child again and it feels good to relive childhood once in a while! You can buy souvenirs of Pinocchio in many touristic areas in Italy. Do not feel humantestosteronebooster shy to pose as Pinocchio. At the end of the day, no one in the streets will remember you but you have a good remembrance being Pinocchio.
“Aiyaya!!! My nose has grown long!!!”
Antiques and leathers are a good buy in Florence. Not only are they of good quality but their designs are unique and can be good ice-breakers at awkward events. (Just saying!) The good thing about shopping in Italy is tourists who are from outside of the Europe Union can claim a tax refund with a single purchase of over €154. Remember to bring your passport wherever you go but also beware of pickpockets on the streets or in the shops. These are skillful crafters who will rob you right under your nose while you might still be smiling at them.
However, this does not deter me from strolling in the city. Florence is a particularly safe place to walk in the night. Sometimes, I walk home from the city at 11.30p.m. after catching up with friends. I always carry little cash with me as to avoid any unnecessary mishap.
To add to the activities in this ancient city, Florentines celebrate La Notte Bianca every 30th of April! This will be a day when all shops and restaurants are open until the wee hours and some even until sunrise! The streets come alive with music, dance and shoppers as they celebrate The White Night. This is special because all shops (except for restaurants) are usually closed at 7p.m. during other days of the year. Next time when you plan to visit Florence, you can arrange your stay around this time.
《Why do I choose to stay in Florence for a month? 》
Among many other reasons, it is her mystical magic. Florence enchants many with its breathtaking views, gorgeous art and remarkable story. Above all, you might enjoy a piece of poetic tranquility while taking a little piece of this beautiful city in your heart and your heavy footsteps as you leave.
As the candle flame flickers, as words flee from my hand, I will remember this night just as it will remember me flowing in Florence.
Read Chinese article: 佛罗伦萨游第二篇