Interrail day eight – Ferrara to Firenze

5 May

That’s Florence, to you. I was going to set off bright and early to see as much of it as possible, but it took so long to upload last night’s post that I changed my mind and went for a later train. That meant that instead of having anxiety dreams about missing trains, I just dreamed highlights from A Room with a View, which was much more pleasant.

Making my mandatory reservation was all done in Italian, which has become a theme in Ferrara. It’s amusing that the one language I’ve actually had to rely on was the one I couldn’t be bothered to practise. Mind you, I haven’t practised my Greek either. Maybe I should get cracking on that, in case Samothrace is as monolingual – although I doubt it.

Playground near Ferrara Station – “Life is a train, take it.”

The ticket guy also commented on my short sleeves and lack of jacket, which he said must be because I’m Scottish. He’s right, but although it’s dull and cool this morning, it’s also very humid and I was carrying a rucksack, so I think my attire was reasonable.

A nice lady at the tourist information in Florence suggested some places to visit, and even checked which locations were included in A Room with a View – including approximately where the view was!

The view, allegedly.

Florence is a little like Milan, in that it’s overpriced and touristy, with excessively exclusive shops, and a little like Edinburgh during the Fringe, mostly because the pavements are too narrow to pass people easily – not that it stops all the couples inconveniently walking arm in arm. It has the galleried streets of medieval Italy (handy in the rain) and random arches looking pretty.

Florence smells of leather because of the scores of leather shops, which is good because it masks the smell of those medieval drains. Honestly, the basement toilet in the overpriced ice-cream shop on the Ponte Vecchio smelt so bad, I thought I was going to puke.

Here’s a selection of things I saw on my film-themed tour. You may recognise one of them…

After that, I still had the rest of the afternoon on my hands and it was raining, so I headed to the Uffizi Gallery. It has the Medici family’s art collection, plus other stuff that’s been added over the centuries. Like most ‘important’ galleries, it’s actually too big for a single visit and by the end of it you can’t face one more ‘Annunciation to the Virgin”. Some of the sculptures were familiar, which happens to me a lot because I studied Greek sculpture, but in this case, as they were mostly Renaissance knock-offs, I could recognise which statue they were knocking off 😂

I only took photos of the paintings and sculptures that particularly appealled and I won’t even inflict all of those on you, but here are the edited highlights of my visit to the Uffizi.

Judith having just beheaded Holofernes. There are far more gruesome versions of this!

I’m hoping not to make the same mistake tonight, so I’m uploading this between main course (ravioli with truffle cream) and pudding (tiramisu, naturally). Buon appetito!

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