My First Day Ever in Florence

Trip Start Aug 14, 1992
Trip End Aug 26, 1992

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Wednesday, August 19, 1992

Taxi to Stazione Termini in Rome, and the train to Florence arriving at 1 PM, then taxi to Hotel Cavour on via Proconsolo. The hotel was beautiful, with lovely marbled lobby and comfortable couches. Our room was huge and my daughter had her own little alcove, which she set up as her own room. There was also and the best part excellent air conditioning ! We headed out immediately to the Piazza del Duomo for the Cathedral, Baptistery, and Capanille, my first look at those masterpieces and it all just took my breath away, just astounding. We had lunch at a place right on the piazza, and then headed down via Calzaiuolo to the Piazza della Signoria. I always suggest this first look at Florence for people new to the city. The first look at this extraordinary square so filled with history. We hesitated for a moment at the northwest entrance to the piazza, where you get the best view of the entire piazza, with Palazzo Vecchio, Loggia dei Lanza, and a peak at the Uffizi in between. The statue of David at the entrance to the palazzo is a copy with the original being in the Galleria Accademia, but the whole mass of architecture, sculpture, and history is just awe inspiring. We crossed the piazza, headed to the Arno through the courtyard of the Uffizi, and around to via dei Neri and then via Leoni where we had dinner at Trattoria Alfredo, a great authentic restaurant with great food, a place I have been back to a dozen times since. It was the best minestrone I ever tasted. We then retraced our steps and made it back to the Duomo where we stayed for a while before heading back to the hotel to rest. We agreed that I would do some sightseeing alone, while Wendy and Jen did some shopping during the next 3 days in Florence.

Over the years I felt towards Florence as one would feel about a home, completely comfortable, welcome, at ease, and almost tranquil. As soon as I began circulating in the various neighborhoods, I felt good, and still do. I returned to Florence 15 additional times during the next 18 years, always excited and eager with anticipation. I actually felt a sense a sense of loss and sadness, during the 3 times I did not return, and vowed never to go to Italy again without a stopover for at least a couple of days. And this was before I had made two wonderful and fulfilling friendships with Lidia and Luca. As the days passed it got into my blood, and felt special to me, as no place has ever felt.
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