WALKING AROUND FLORENCE

WALKING AROUND FLORENCE.
Florence is always lovely, even in January. Miraculously, crowds of tourists are gone after the twelve days of Christmas. On January 7, the big tree on Piazza Duomo is dismantled; the are decorations gradually taken down and put away. On January 8, we have seen visitors simply enter the Uffizi, no waiting lines! The temperatures hover between 10-15C. It is nice and mild, a great time to walk around enjoying the views. From our Hotel Paris to Palazzo Vecchio, in no hurry to get anywhere; through the passage way to the river bank, looking down at the flowering rose bushes, taking pictures of the city and Ponte Vecchio, the celebrated Old Bridge. And along the winding ancient streets, with churches, cloisters, towers, old buildings interspersed with the new ones. There are still plenty of tourists, though their numbers are significantly lower than a few days earlier. We can now stop in front of any attraction and take pictures without someone walking into the frame. There is a small market with a statue of a pig, surprisingly. Passers-by are expected to rub its nose for luck and to snap a selfie or a group photo. Benvenuto Cellini gazes benevolently at flocks of people who stare at the jewelry displays in the shop-windows on Ponte Vecchio. And there are lots of statues of naked people. They are not bothered by tourists, and nobody is bothered by their nakedness. Millions of tourists take photos of the fountain near Palazzo Vecchio and the copy of the famous David statue. Inside and outside the Uffizi, ancient gods and goddesses, mythical and biblical heroes gaze serenely into the distance, into Time itself. They are all beautiful, all lovingly made by old masters from marble and bronze.
I used to wonder about those incredible colors on all the post cards, photos and calendars. Now I know that the colors are real, the bright blue sky, the greenery, the roses, the old brownish buildings and the statues.
© gretag2015
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