I have just had the pleasure of visiting Florence (Firenze), Italy over the last few days. Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. The city of Firenze has always conjured up images of breathtaking art and architecture and Florence exceeded my expectations in every regard. The Cathedral of Florence and the iconic Duomo must rank amongst the most beautiful man-made structures I have ever seen. The sheer size and the beauty of the architecture really has to be seen to be believed. The Galleria dell’Accademia houses Michaelangelo’s masterpiece – the original ‘David’ sculpture. The whole family was keen to see this and gazing up at the statue it was instantly clear, even to someone with no knowledge of sculpture such as myself, that one was looking at one of the finest sculptures ever made. The scale of the works (Masters including Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Michelangelo) displayed at the Uffizi Gallery, a prominent art museum, was both humbling and uplifting at the same time. Perhaps the most amusing part of the tour was that with every masterpiece we viewed my younger son had the same question – Mummy, what would this cost? My consistent reply was, ‘Son, you do not want to know”!
What I discovered on my trip to Florence:
- My first born has an uncanny ability to read maps – it is both a revelation and relief that we no longer have to rely on my husband to show us the way. For the record – he said that!
- I am a slave to the ‘Patisserie’ – if you have a sweet tooth and are a lover of baked goods as I am, then Italy is the stuff that sweet dreams are made of!
- Trip to Florence: expensive. Observing your children’s face when they see in real life things that they have studied at school: priceless.
- Seeing multiple nude statues with body parts on display will send children into fits of giggles regardless of place or persons around.
- The Italians make fabulous coffee, perhaps the best I have ever had. They also make fabulous cakes, perhaps the best I have ever had. Italians, I love you!
Going on holiday in winter has often presented a fashion challenge for me. Coats and boots take up a lot of luggage space and travelling with just one of each is akin to having a bad nightmare in my case. Great winter fashion requires achieving that perfect balance of making comfortable styling choices with warm clothing that keeps you well insulated. The one thing that is absolutely essential in a sightseeing trip are flat shoes and I just about managed with three pairs. I also wore my Uniqlo extra warm Heattech vests under all my clothes and they kept me warm and snug all day. Finally, as I had mentioned in an earlier blog post, I managed to find a lovely bright yellow coat that I took along and greatly enjoyed wearing through Florence!
(Clothes and Accessories: Yellow Coat – Mango, Grey Dress – ASOS, Black Brogues – Kurt Gieger , Check Heattech Leggings – Uniqlo, Bag with colourful Stripes – Milly, Black Coat – Uniqlo, Black Hat with Pompom – Tu at Sainsbury’s, Floral Dress – Newlook, Short Black Boots – Rachel Zoe)