The Star of Tuscany: Florence

Florence-4.jpg
Reflections in the Arno
Reflections in the Arno

My photo tour in Florence was kind of an experiment: With AirBnB I had found accommodation about 20 km outside of Florence and I wanted to go on a photo tour with my bicycle, but I didn’t want to be constrained to taking pictures with my cellphone, so I decided to put my DSLR into my small bicycle backpack and on my way I was to Florence. I ended up being more challenging than expected, because being a stereo-typical road-biker I don’t carry a lock with me (stupid!). So I had to always maneuver both my bicycle, which I didn’t want to just lean against a lightpost for a couple of minutes when I was taking pictures, and the camera, and my glasses…you get the picture.
It ended up being worth while, though: Coming into Florence, I found my way to the Arno very quickly, where I was greeted by the wonderful scene in the picture on the left.

Ponte Vecchio across Arno River
Ponte Vecchio across Arno River

 

Close-up of Ponte-Vecchio
Close-up of Ponte-Vecchio

A few kilometers further down the Arno I found one of the main landmarks of Florence: Ponte Vecchio, or “The Old Bridge”. Here I realized that I had also miscalculated the number of other tourists I would run into. Even mid November, the area around Ponte Vecchio was flurrying with tourists. It also meant that I wouldn’t leave my dear bicycle unattended even for a couple of moments. So I pretty much started shooting right from the bike…the results you see on this page.

What is unique about Ponte Vecchio, built more than 1000 years ago, is that it’s lined with houses, which today contain mostly souvenir shops. Building houses on top of bridges like this used to be quite common though.

It is said that the concept of bankruptcy originated on Ponte Veccho: When a merchant couldn’t pay his bills anymore, the tables (the “banco”) from which he sold his goods were broken by soldiers (“bancorotto”), so that he wouldn’t be able to sell his goods any further (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponte_Vecchio).

Cathedral of Florence
Cathedral of Florence
Another famous landmark of Florence is the cathedral “Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore”, which was started to be built in 1296 and completed in 1436. The patterns of white, black, green and pink marble are flabbergasting, even though there are quite some traces of neglect.
November sun setting over Florence
November sun setting over Florence
Doing sightseeing by bike mid of November means watching the clock very closely! You can easily get carried away taking picture during “Golden Hour”, but I still had a 20-km ride ahead of me, which took me along the Arno river up to Lastra-a-Signa, Signa across the Arno, and finally to Comeana, where I had rented an apartment.

 

 

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