Sunday, 29 May 2016

Italy: Florence Part 4

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!

Continued from part 3.It's been a while since I last updated this blog about the Italy trip. I've been swamped to my neck with labwork. Well, what can you do? That's the life of a PhD candidate.

This'll be the last part for Florence. So for our last day in Florence, we decided to go to the furthest part which are near the river. This time, because our accommodation has changed and we already need to take a bus to go to the city, it'll be easier for us to go straight to the Piazza de Santa Croce directly from our accommodation.

Near our accommodation, there's a big supermarket where we bought some food and drinks before moving on to our journey. 

We only need to take one bus to go to Santa Croce. One bus ticket costs €1.20 if you buy from a shop and not the bus driver. we bought a 4 journey ticket which costs us €4.20 each which is a huge save. 


Everytime you take the bus, you need to validate your ticket on the bus, at a machine usually located near the driver or the middle of the bus. If not, you'll risk having to pay a fine of €40 or more. So it's better to always validate your ticket. Sometimes when it was peak hour and the bus is all packed, we didn't get a chance to validate, so we saved some journey where we can use the same ticket. But that was lucky and depending on situation. So rather than taking that risk, it's better to always validate your tickets.

Moving on, from the bus stop, we need to walk a bit to go to the Santa Croce. We saw this gorgeous terrace with the purple flower outside. Made me feel I'm in the movie called 'Under the Tuscan Sun'. Florence is part of Tuscany after all. 



Even their recycling bins are so unique.


Tadaa....the view from Santa Croce. The Santa Croce is the huge cathedral that we saw from on top of Duomo before. 


The Santa Croce..


We didn't went inside because we had enough of cathedrals and churches already. 


My bestie's labmate who is from Florence told us to go to Uffizi.


So off we go..


This street is called Gepetto, so naturally, there'll be Pinocchio here..haha..


To those who didn't watch Disney movies, Gepetto is Pinocchio's father (the carpenter that made him).


Uffizi is a museum, or you might call it as a gallery. It's a brown building, kind of looked like a castle. Not as interesting as the plaza in front of it.


The plaza itself is quite famous, where there's a lot of statues made by famous artist including Michelangelo. I didn't take any pictures because, well...they are all naked. 


This is inside of the gallery...more stairs...To go here, you can either buy a ticket at the booth or online. I would advice you to buy them online because the line is quite long. Not for buying the tickets but for entering. Even if you've bought them online, you still need to go to the ticket counter for them to give you the actual ticket (which i don't see the point of this), but it'll take less time. 


Let me just say this up front, this gallery is very famous, but frankly, I wasn't interested. maybe because most of the displays are more to Christian history (more like stories because they're not true). Paintings, sculptures from artists interpreting the bible from their own point of view.


The only thing that made me interested was these two displays. See the pictures?


These are the portraits of rulers during the Ottoman Empire. There's Sultan Mahmud I and II, Sultan Muhammad III and many more. Part of Italy was once ruled by the Ottoman Empire after they defeated the Byzantine. 


We were more excited about the view outside because it is located next to the river.


After Uffizi, we went to the riverside to cross it through the Ponte Vecchio (Vecchio bridge). It was built during the Roman Empire, but after it was destroyed by flood, they rebuild it again. 


The bridge host many shops since the day it was built (like the old London bridge before it collapsed). Before, there were carpenters and butchers' shop, nowadays, there's jewellers, art dealers and souvenir shops instead. 


Locals say, the bridge will light up at night due to the shiny and dazzle from the gold that were sold here. I'll show you later in this post.


Next to it is Ponte Santa Trinita.


After a long walk, we went for a gelato hunt. my bestie's labmate suggested this place which was said to be the best gelato in Italy!


See the line? 


There were so many choices of flavours. the price was reasonable too! and the taste...oh..my..GOD!!!


After the glorious refreshment, we prayed at a nearby park, and off to the next destination.


On the way to Forte de Belvedere is the Palazzo Pitti. Of course we didn't enter because we were running out of time.


The place was on top of a hill


We pushed through eventhough we felt like fainting.


We looked at the time, and we decided to cancel going to the fort and went to Piazzale Michelangelo instead. You'll see why we were in such a hurry.


Going to Piazzale Michelangelo was an uphill journey too. This time, it's even steeper than before.


When we finally reached the top..viola!!!


We sat at the huge steps where you can see the whole of Florence.


There's many people here, but everyone behaved so well. No one were pushing or blocking other people from enjoying the view. 

video

The best part was the entertainment. huhu...The atmosphere was so great for a sunset view.


Now lets look at the bridge...Can you see the glow? Those are the glow from the gold shops!


This picture gives a better view. Cool right?!


Normal light will not give such a strong hue. 


Back to the sunset. 


Such a gorgeous view..totally worth the climb.


We sat here until it was dark to bask in the view


Chubbiness still remains


This is the main attraction here. It's a statue of David. Then again, he's naked. I had to take a picture from his sides in order not to see his weenie. blurghh...

So that's it from Florence. I'll continue for Pisa after this. 

Until next time...

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