Category Archives: Italy

Another Florence…

The lines for the Uffizi Gallery usually snake all along the corridors and into the lane leading to the gallery from the Piazza della Signoria with its fake David. Not too far away, the throngs mill around and through the Firenze Duomo and the adjoining Giotto’s tower. Tour groups in every language, families and school kids on ‘culture’ trips, backpackers and the well-heeled jet-setters – you’ll find them all strewn in generous measures around Florence on a spring, summer or autumn day. Florence’s strong personality, its centuries of history, art and culture, can all sometimes seem to sink under or get shadowed by the scores of selfie sticks, colored umbrellas and loudspeakers.

That’s not how I remembered Florence. That wasn’t the Florence I fell in love with, on a soggy, deserted evening after a stormy November day. We were late to reach Florence – our plans for a day trip having been washed away by a surprise storm all around upper Italy, that snowed out the train tracks and messed up all train schedules for the day. After risking near-heartbreak by considering skipping the visit altogether, we decided to gulp down the 7-hour delay, and landed in Florence at 7 PM instead of noon. The museums had long closed, the tourists were never there in the off-season and even the locals had called it a night and shuttered down even before we got into town. As we roamed the empty streets, marvelling at the lit-up sights around town, I was filled with a mixed emotion of excitement and disappointment. Excitement at having found, what I thought was the most beautiful city in Europe; and disappointment, that I could only see it from the outside, in the dark.

I came back, six years later to another Florence. The Florence I saw now, wasn’t the Florence of that dark, rainy night. 

The unusually empty corridors of the Uffizi Gallery
Palazzo Vecchio and the bare Piazza della Signoria

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to in the “Off-Season”?

The Orange Tops of Europe

The color, orange, dominates many a skyline in Europe. It could be the well-preserved old town of Prague, or the Renaissance capital of Italy – Florence. Another city that’s all orange is Dubrovnik, sitting pretty on the Adriatic Coast of Croatia. Orange-topped sisters by coincidence, I think.

More color here: “Orange you glad it’s photo challenge time?”

Where Love might just be in the Air | Italy

The cynics, the unromantic, the unsentimental and the pragmatic. Stay away from the streets of Italy at nightfall.

Continue reading Where Love might just be in the Air | Italy

Sugar Rush, Anyone? – Meet the Italian Breakfast

This October, when we visited Italy after a couple of days of near-starvation in Croatia, we found ourselves looking forward to our included ‘breakfasts’ at the B&Bs that we were booked at.

Clearly, I’d forgotten what breakfast in Italy means. Continue reading Sugar Rush, Anyone? – Meet the Italian Breakfast