Thursday, April 29, 2010

Italy (Firenze)

It was 1.30pm and I left Venezia Santa Lucia train station for Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station in Firenze (Florence). Train ticket was very expensive, but after considering the limited time I had in Italy and how precious it was, I took the fastest way to Firenze, the Eurostar Trenitalia. No more Chinese girl this time. I boarded the train and reached Firenze in approximately 2 hours.

Firenze is a very beautiful city. Lots of boutiques can be seen along the streets. My targets in Firenze were the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, another famous cathedral in Italy and Ponte Vecchio, a famous bridge in Firenze. I wasn’t really into museums and historical places, and sometimes I thought Italy wasn’t the appropriate place for me to spend my holidays. Never mind, I just wanted to see how Italy is.

In Italy, I couldn’t escape from being hungry even for one day. I need to save my money for the transportations and accommodations. In Firenze, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I went to McDonalds in front of the train station and grabbed some meals.

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore with its famous dome.

For me as a budget traveler, walking was the best way to experience the city. So I strolled to Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore which was about 10 minutes walking from the train station. Of course it was full of tourists and also locals. I love Italy because lots of people prefer to use bicycle, very easy and seems very harmony to me. I don’t know how to describe the best feeling of it since my English level is still mediocre.

Woman on a bicycle.

To appreciate the architecture of a basilica, of course you must go inside. So I went into the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore and snapped some photos using my camera. It was like other basilica, full of beautiful paintings on the wall.

In the basilica.

Typical Asian guy with typical Asian pose style.

Without wasting my time, I continued my journey, heading towards Ponte Vecchio. Pam said I shouldn’t miss this spot. Thanks Pam for the tips. Before I reached my destination, I step into a place named Piazza Della Signoria, where you will find Palazzo Vecchio, Galleria Degli Uffizi and an outdoor museum of sculptures. Again, I snapped here and there before proceeding myself to Ponte Vecchio.

Naked sculptures here and there in Palazzo Vecchio.

The Fiume Arno (Arno River) was very nice. Locals use this river to do kayaking and I called this moment ‘The Real Italy’. The river was very clean compared to Gombak River and Klang River. I wasn’t there for a very long time. Ponte Vecchio, again similar to Ponte di Rialto I had seen in Venice. Shops are located on the bridge itself.

Kayaking in Fiume Arno.

Motorcycle dominated the area.

Policeman or firemen?

Ponte Vecchio

Shops on Ponte Vecchio.

I rushed back to the train station because I need to take another train to Pisa. Since Pisa was not a familiar place for me, it was safe for me to be there before dark.

Next time, it’s going to be Pisa. Bubye.

Where is this? I have no idea. I encountered this on my way back to the train station.