Wayward Lovers

[wey-werd] turning or changing irregularly; irregular: a wayward breeze.

Flo-rida I mean Flo-rence

Florence is one of the places I’ve been most excited about to visit. I wanted to see all of it. The Duomo. The Uffizi Gallery. All of Michaelangelo’s sculptures. Just all of the art. All of it. And boy did I see a lot, but I also just sucked at being a tourist in Florence. The reason? All those other tourists.

We came to Florence the week before Easter. It was spring break for most of the student population of the world and from what I could tell they all go to Florence. Not Florida like MTV has led me to believe or maybe I’ve misheard them all these years Florida… Florence… same/similar?

So, the bad timing is totally on us, we just didn’t think about it. It’s cool.

I’m not sure why I was so put off by these particular student tourist hordes. Maybe because Americans are extra crass on holiday or at least they seem extra crass within this foreign setting. Maybe it was the aggressive panhandling that tourists attract. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for people, any of them, tourist or otherwise. Whatever it was caused me to withdraw more than usual and not go to some top sights.

With that said I did get to see some really cool things and I really enjoyed our five days in Florence. I would happily go back with a bolder attack plan.

Day 1: I wandered around the old part of Florence on my own. Explored many of the streets and made my way down to the Arno River to see all the cool bridges.

Fountain of Neptune at Plaza della Signoria. Despite all the tourists I liked coming to this square a lot it holds an obscene amount of famous sculptures or copies of them.


Look! It’s me trying to get around tourists!


The Arno RIver.



(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)

Day 2: I explored more of the central area including the Duomo.


The Florence Cathedral.
Door to the Cathedral Baptistry.
One of the doors on the Cathedral.

Day # whatever: We climbed all the things. We climbed inside Brunelleschi’s Dome and up Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower). We got to see over the entirety of Florence. It was incredible and even worth my panic attack inside the claustrophobic staircases. After climbing all the things I decided I would not make a very good assassin, ya know, since I’m afraid of heights, claustrophobic, not particularly stealth, and not even a little bit agile. Oh well, that’s why video games exist!

me: where’s the lift? me: no lift huh… me: give me a minute, I’ma write my will. me: never mind I don’t have anything. and up we go!
View from the tower.
More tower view.


(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)






Cappuccino and mini cannoli help me climb things.
The Dome is actually made of two domes and they let you climb in between them to get to the top. It’s a little crazy.
Inside of the dome! So gorgeous. Unfortunately they rush you a bit, but I could’ve stared at the elaborate painting forever. Just check out that demon on the right!
Nobody rushes you at the top. You can hang out at the top of Florence for as long as you want!




I saw so many accordion players. There was even an accordion gang made of 3 accordion players and a guy with a hat collecting money as they walked down the streets.
Inside the Baptistry.

(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)

Museo dell’Opera del Duomo holds many of the original sculptures from the Duomo. Incredible. It might be my favourite museum.

Day others: I enjoyed exploring the city and finding cool shops and quiet places to sit.


Look it’s me being traumatized! This lady in pink jumped in my photo then demanded 5 euros! Outrageous! Ingenuous! I gave her one euro to go away.
A rare modest statue man.


I would like to end with my favourite sculpture. A sculpture that made every annoying tourist experience worth it. A sculpture that made me stop and breathe. Being able to see and be in the presence of Donatello’s Mary Magdalen gave me unexpected strength and calm. I’ve admired this sculpture in art books and textbooks and I understand its significance academically/historically. That aside, this carving of a woman has power. It has presence. It is incredibly rare to see art that feels so human. She could be any one of us.

That was my Florence. Equally frustrating and breathtaking. I’m happy we came and I’ll happily visit again. After Florence we head down the boot to Naples the pizza capital and we look forward to visiting Pompeii.


Bonus: Our personalized map of Florence.