“I would choose Florence over Venice any day” – my friend told me when I mourned to her that my tour didn’t include the renowned Venice. What makes Florence so great? I mean, it’s Venice. It’s the city sitting on water. There’s a reason why it’s more touristy and famous than Florence, isn’t it?
Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance, the Athens of the Middle Ages. It houses old buildings in 15-century architecture. But what else make this city so great that it beats riding a gondola with your love along the romantic Grand Canal?
Granted, the Ponte Vecchio is a famous destination for couples to lock their love to the steel fence, but couples do that everywhere. The Piazza della Signoria has its historic values, preserved in its originality since the 14th century but the Piazza San Marco has that and other symbolic, aesthetic values as well.
Not until I arrived at the Piazzale Michelangelo did I understand why my friend loved this city more than the dreamy Venice.
A square plaza on top of a hill overlooking at Florence, Michelangelo Plaza offers a panoramic view of the city, embracing in its entirety the blue sky, white clouds, Tuscan hills faraway, and all the Florentine icons: the Duomo di Firenze, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Ponte Vecchio, the Arno river, the pretty little stoned houses with red roofs. I just stood there, for one minute, ignoring all the tourists nearby, trying to take in the fact that I was in Tuscany – the most beautiful region on earth, appreciating the peaceful and picturesque town laid out in front of my eyes, that’s all it took to make Florence a great city. And when I closed my eyes, I could feel the Tuscan sun tingle my skin, and the spring breeze caress my hair. My heart gently whispered Tuscany like in a dream before.
No, I wouldn’t say I would choose Florence over Venice. I’ve never been to Venice yet. But if asked whether I would go back there, to stand at that plaza, looking at the whole Florence town again, my answer would definitely be yes.
Bonus: This random window with a flower pot that could totally be instagram material. It’s the pretty little things that make my heart sing.