We went to Florence at the wrong time. For the birthplace of the Renaissance, with museums containing works by the like of Michelangelo, Donatello, Da Vinci, and Botticelli, Brunelleschi (and more), we certainly picked the worst part of the week to show up.
Our train from Venice put us into Florence on a Sunday afternoon, and even before we knew what that meant we were doomed. Our top floor apartment did look out at the famous Duomo (seen below), which dwarfs all other buildings in Florence, but on the resulting walk we took to relax after hauling our suitcases up eight flights of stairs, we realized that all of the musems in the city were closed the following day, and that if we were going to see anything noteworthy while we were there, we had the next three hours to do so.
The trouble with museums in Florence is that they are the reason to visit, so every tourist in the city is there for the same reason making line ups to get into museums if you don’t have advanced tickets a nightmare. So, we decided against waiting in line, grabbed our camera, and walked the old part of the city, trying to see what we could see.
That night we walked to the Piazzale Michelangelo, which is at the top of a hill on the south bank of Florence. There you could see the whole city light up in the sunset. Our next day was spent looking in all of the places that somehow remained open, which included the Duomo and the Medici family apartments, which were decorated endlessly with fresco of Greek/Roman mythologies. From there we snuck into the Boboli Gardens, which were “closed” however we decided that they didn’t look very closed.
Our time in Florence was surprisingly nice, and we didn’t miss out on any of the city’s flavor, but it was just one of those places we need to go back to in order see everything the birthplace of the Renaissance has to offer.