Italy largely stands on the form-work of the past in terms of architecture and how the cities have come up. If Venice was poetry in decay, Florence is majesty in past splendour. It is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been called the ‘Athens of the Middle ages’. The place where the masters gave there all, and formed the basis by which the western world will judge and perceive art, architecture and sculpture for a very long time. The heart of Florence houses landmarks like Santa Maria Novella, the Ponte Vecchio and of course, the Duomo or Florence cathedral. Michelangelo’s David, who once stood as a guardian on the streets is on display at the Uffizi gallery. Florence is steeped with layers and layers of art, sculpture and advances in anatomy and engineering. The Florentine dialect in the 14th century was and is still accepted as the Italian language. During the ‘golden age’ of Florence, most writers and poets were connected to the city and hence the Florentine dialect came to be the parent language of modern Italian.
The city of Florence, the historic centre and the metropolitan area are nestled in the basin formed by seven hills. The Arno River cuts through, dividing the historic centre and the further expansions.
The historic centre has been declared a UNESCO World heritage site. It is buzzing with an electricity of the past. And of course all the tourists that visit it. It is one of the most visited cities in the world with the tourists outnumbering the residents during August and September. It is now a place that has multiple layers of history, art, architecture, fashion and food. It is quite visible when you walk through it. The most memorable unmistakable aspect is the art. It is everywhere! It is seconded only by the architecture.
Strolling through the city centre is a pleasure on its own. In the summer there are outdoor concerts, classical and otherwise in one square or the other. Long breezy summer evenings that stretch into the night are the perfect backdrop for a powerful instrumental number.
A hike up to Piazzale Michelangelo might be tiring in the summer heat but the stunning views if the city, the Arno river and the Duomo in all its majesty erase all tired thoughts.
Florence is like a painting. There is colour, movement, poetry of spaces and just the perfect vibe that makes you forget the rest of the world and lose yourself in a time different that your own.