Postcard from Florence

Bronzino meets the Ponte Vecchio
Bronzino meets the Ponte Vecchio

To Florence for the better part of six days. The city is as usual wonderful in December, far from the summer heat and the summer crowds of foreign tourists (though we forgot about the Immacolata Concezione holiday, so there are Italian crowds for a couple of days). Blue skies and bright sun too.

The Uffizi is at long last being renovated and pictures rehung (the parts so far done are a huge improvement): the Leonardo Annunciation particularly beautifully displayed — On a sunny winter’s day, the view from San Miniato is breathtaking — Buy soap in that most beautiful shop, the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, complete with its own frescos — The Magi Chapel in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi as stunning as ever, and almost empty, so we can stay as long as we want — Night time walks round Florence, with added light shows (as above) — Rigoletto, conducted by Zubin Mehta, wonderfully sung with a fine cast and only slightly daft staging, then walking back along the Arno late on a fine night — A fresco day (Santa Croce, the Brancacci Chapel, and not least Ghirlandaio at Santa Maria Novella) — Fiesole — and more …

We eat and drink very well too (notably at Olio e Convivium and Il Santo Bevitore). So we have an exceptionally good time. We know we are lucky to be able to do this kind of thing.


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