Yes, I’m dreaming again but I do have able assistance. Take a look at Paula on Lost in Translation. The lady has a supreme talent in photography. These are all her images, which I’ve stolen in a good cause. I hope I’ll be forgiven.
It’s ages since I’ve entered a competition but this one by Accor Hotels is too good to resist, even though I’m pushing the deadline. 24 Hours In… Just name your city, and off you go. My initial reaction- ’24 hours in Florence?’ Impossible!!! But then resourcefulness kicks in. I’m a huge fan of free walking tours. Nothing I like better than a good ramble and to just follow my nose, but my nose has a terrible habit of getting me lost. With time at a premium I’ll opt to follow ‘one who knows’. And afterwards pick their brains for good places to eat and whatever else I can pack in.
Florence Free Tour has 2 options. One at 11.00 and one at 14.00, both starting from the Santa Maria Novella church.
I know I won’t be able to sleep for excitement so I’ll be up at the crack of dawn, grab a coffee and out on the streets to just absorb Florence. I’ve heard tell there are secret bakeries, open very early, so if I stumble upon a waft of pastry, so much the better. The other half is always reluctant to be prised from his bed but, if I can persuade him, I’ll have a slot booked at the Uffizi. They open at 8.15, so not too hard to escape the crowds.
Culture tucked in my back pocket, time to join the morning walking tour, when I can hope to get my bearings. Afterwards I’m going to allow a substantial time for collapse and a leisurely lunch. Somehow I have to find the energy to climb the 463 steps to get a proper look at Brunelleschi’s Cupola in the Duomo. I’ve seen Paula’s photo and I know it will be worth it.
I always gravitate to a river, and in Florence there is the biggest incentive of all time, the Ponte Vecchio. I might have to pinch myself when I get there. Not since Venice have I been this excited! A browse through the arcades and a nice little cafe for a restoring coffee. (and I know he’ll want a cake!) There’s one more must see on my list. You can’t be married to a garden designer and not visit the Boboli Gardens. Even if it rains! It seems the perfect place to watch the sun set over this lovely city. Maybe there will be an evening concert at the Pitti Palace, but if not it will be a leisurely meal, and then just strolling and sighing until my legs won’t walk any more.
I haven’t been there yet, but when I do, next February, I very much hope to enjoy this vista, at Twilight. And when I do I’ll be telling you all about it.
Meantime, do you have any tips on how to spend 24 hours in your favourite city? Accor Hotels would very much like to hear them, and if you’re awfully quick there are super prizes! Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin ring any bells?