Alright, so Florence was doomed from the beginning because it just so happened that we were visiting on the hottest day of the day year. Apparently the temperature got up to 42 degrees in the shade, which was amplified by the narrow streets of Florence and the buildings which radiated heat even after the sun went down. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of other tourists jostling in lines to get in the many museums, which helped make the small city feel claustrophobic.
We tried our best to not complain whilst climbing the stairs of the duomo, and which turned out to be worth the exhausting ascent. The views over Florence were stunning and made us appreciate the city despite the intense heat of the day. Later, we saw Michelangelo’s David which was astonishing in person. At night, we walked over the Ponte Vecchio and admired the sunset, before going out for dinner. It was the 4th of July, and we were with friends from all over the states. Naturally, a night out was obligatory. We found a cheesy America bar with outrageous karaoke and copious Americans dancing on tables. As we staggered home, we sang the national anthem so badly that a local poured a bucket of water over our hearts from the top floor of an apartment. At least, I hope it was water. But we definitely deserved it.
The long and short of it is that Florence is utterly steeped in history, art and culture. There was so much more that I wanted to see, like Galileo’s tomb, the Da Vinci museum, the birth of Venus etc. But I fear that the normal tourist like you and I can never fully enjoy Florence unless we visit in the middle of January, at 6am, with an unlimited amount of cash. Although undeniably gorgeous and impressive, Florence has maximised on its appeal to tourists to the extent that tourists, such as myself and Daniel, are becoming put off by the endless charade of the whole thing.