Trip Start Sep 03, 2010
23Trip End Sep 29, 2010
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Where I stayed
Florence, according to a number of people we spoke to, is Italy's most visited city. It has a number of attractions, including (but certainly not limited to) Michelangelo’s Statue of David, the Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi, and its incredible Renaissance Duomo, in Piazza del Duomo.
Again, our accommodation was excellent, and located a short walk from the main train and bus station, Stazione di Santa Maria Novella. Everything else was an easy 10-20 minute walk, including the beautiful Palazzo Pitti and its two connected gardens.
Our room at Ostello Archi Rossi was large with private facilities, and was far above our expectations for a hostel. I should point out that there are a number of room options, including dorms. Breakfast was included, and there were many options available for all tastes. Free Internet, either at the PCs provided or via WiFi, was available, along with laundry facilities for three Euros a load! There were also fridges with a selection of food and drink (including alcohol), which could be purchased and consumed in the adjoining quiet courtyard
Less than a five minute walk from our accommodation was the eclectic Mercato de San Lorenzo, great for those looking for a bargain, particularly leather goods. The saying Caveat emptor applies here, though! There was also a large indoor fresh produce market, which you can do a tour of, or just wonder through at leisure and admire all the sights (and smells).
Just a quick word on the Statue of David – he stands 5.16 metres tall and weighs 19 tonnes, and the marble was quarried from near Carrara, and commissioned in 1501 for the Duomo. David was initially placed in the Palazzo Vecchio, where it was located until 1873. It is now housed in the Galleria del’Accademia. To stand at the foot of David is to stand in the presence of one of the most perfect pieces of art the world has to admire. It is imposing and impressive (both in size and craftsmanship). It is a must see for all!