Florence, I just can’t quit you. After an adventure in Northern Italy, Austria and Slovenia, I found myself in my favorite Italian city for the second time last year. I had already posted on many of my favorite places in Florence in my previous posts, yet, until this trip, I still hadn’t ascended the Duomo or the Campanile, nor had I been inside the Battistero. These are perhaps the most touristy of tourist things to do in the city, undoubtedly the “top attractions in Florence” (there’s a lil’ sum’n sum’n for the Google keyword crawlers #transparency).
I recently found myself back in Florence, perhaps my favorite city in Italy, one year after my previous visit. This time I stayed close to Firenze Santa Maria Novella, the city’s main train station, in a bustling neighborhood of hotels and eateries. While I did more running around a year prior (check out my previous article on the city for more in-depth coverage of Florence’s top attractions and on visiting popular Tuscan towns), I was able to catch many things I had missed, namely several churches and David, while revisiting my favorite locales in the city.
Here are the panoramic photos I took during my recent 2015 Europe trip to England, Italy, Switzerland and Germany, thus far unposted. To learn more about the places below, as well as the other cities I visited during this trip, check out the following recap:
Whenever I would tell an Italian friend that I was heading over to Pisa, the response I most often got was incredulity with the question, “Ma perché Pisa?” Certainly, after having visited the cultural richness of Florence, little Pisa, known primarily to the world for a building malfunction, seemed an odd place to spend several days. My friend living there assured me that there was more to Pisa than its iconic tower; she was right.
Traveling from Rome to Florence isn’t just a commute; it’s a leap through time. While a visit to Rome is an adventure to the zenith of Antiquity — imposing structures and ruins that leave much to the imagination, pillars and slabs and arches of an immortal nature — visiting Florence offers a more modern, more dynamic experience.
A few months ago, I went on a month-long trip through the Mediterranean with Princess Cruises. And while I had already shared my photos from the trip, I had not, until now, elaborated on the details of the experience itself. I was a bit skeptical about the idea of traveling quickly from city to city on a cruise (I had previously cruised through Alaska and the Bahamas with mixed results), as each stop would feel rushed and short. On the other hand, the idea of getting to see so many cities in such a short amount of time was exciting; it was sort of like a crash course on the North Mediterranean. A life is a long time, I had reassured myself, to revisit and take in deeper the cities I loved.
The cruise took place aboard the Star Princess in September of 2011, and included the cities of Venice, Athens, Kusadasi, Istanbul, Mykonos, Naples (only to port for trips to Capri and Pompeii), Rome, Florence, Pisa, Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Overall, I had a really great time. I do recommend it to anyone looking to see a lot of things really quickly at a reasonable cost.
The Cons of a Mediterranean Cruise
Continue reading “The Pros and Cons of a Mediterranean Cruise (and Photos)”