Monthly Archives: June 2016

Ponte Vecchio Florence

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

April 2016

Returning from Piazzale Michelangelo by bus no. 13, we decided to drop-off at stop no. 15 (Sant’Onofrio) and walked over to Ponte Vecchio. It’s a 15 minutes casual walk from the stop.

Ponte Vecchio – “Old Bridge” in Italian is a famous bridge in Florence and undoubtedly one of the notable landmarks. It links the 2 sides of Florence at the narrowest point of the Arno River. For the numerous shops selling a wide assortment of jewelry ranging from affordable modern jewels to pricey antiques on the bridge, it doesn’t really look like a bridge.

Ponte Vecchio is often full of tourists and whilst we enjoyed getting some nice picture of the bridge in the background, which is an incredibly sight when seen from afar, crossing the bridge itself is an uncomfortable experience during the peak tourist hours. Very busy, packed and lots of street sellers. If you have little time in Florence, seeing it from afar would suffice.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

Ponte Vecchio from afar. That’s about the best thing about it!

Ponte Vecchio Florence

Bus no. 13 from Piazzale Michelangelo back to town. Drop-off at stop no. 15 and walk over to Ponte Vecchio.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

The calm river Arno and buildings on its bank.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

Buildings on the banks of river Arno on the way to Ponte Vecchio.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

Having a mid-day break by the side of river Arno. Otherwise, tourist horde street vendors above it.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

Closer view of Ponte Vecchio.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

Entrance to Ponte Vecchio from one side of the river.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

Mostly tourist on Ponte Vecchio.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

This was during lunch time. Prior to this, the bridge was a havoc.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

Jewellery shops lining Ponte Vecchio.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

No glittering or gleaming stores here.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

The massive crowd thinning during lunch time.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

Window shopping at one of the jewellery stores.

Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

April 2016

One place of attraction just a little off the others is Piazzale Michelangelo. With strong legs, you can still walk to the Piazzale Michelangelo but we rather take the public transport. Bus no 13 waits for passengers outside SM Novella train station in-front of the Burger King outlet. You’ll need to buy the bus tickets beforehand and you can get it inside the train station at the tobacco shop. A bus ticket cost €1.20. You’ll need 2 for your to-and-fro journey. The bus departs every 10-15 minutes.

Piazzale Michelangelo is a large square filled with tourists and vendors. It is one of the best and most famous lookouts for a stunning panoramic view of Florence day or night. Here you’ll find a bronze replica of Michelangelo’s David. Otherwise, most of Piazzale Michelangelo is just a parking lot.

Piazzale Michelangelo

Panoramic view of Florence. Santa Maria Cathedral, Ponte Vecchio and river Arno as seen from Piazzale Michelangelo.

Bus to Piazzale Michelangelo

Route map of bus no. 13. Starting from SM Novella train station and terminates at Piazzale Michelangelo.

Bus to Piazzale Michelangelo

The return journey of Bus no. 13. You may want to get off at stop 15, (Sant’Onofrio) and take a casual 15 minutes walk to Ponte Vecchio.

Piazzale Michelangelo

A closer view of the dome of Santa Maria Cathedral.

Piazzale Michelangelo

And a closer view of Ponte Vecchio.

Piazzale Michelangelo

A view of the hills towards your left at Piazzale Michelangelo.

Piazzale Michelangelo

Wall guarding the ‘old town’ on the hill-side.

Piazzale Michelangelo

Restaurant in-front of the car park at Piazzale Michelangelo. Bus no. 13 from SM Novella terminates here.

Piazzale Michelangelo

A statue of ‘David’ can also be found here.

Piazzale Michelangelo

At the car park, a Ferrari for ‘test drive’ at about €200 for 45 minutes.

Piazzale Michelangelo

The interior of the Ferrari.

Piazzale Michelangelo

About the only thing we can afford of a Ferrari. A phone cover bought in our home country.

Piazzale Michelangelo

sampaisudah.com enjoyed the views at Piazzale Michelangelo.

Florence walkabout.

Florence Walkabout

April 2016

After checking into Hotel Montreal and thereafter having a late lunch, we started our walkabout of Florence at 5:00 pm. First on our list is the Lorenzo street market … not to buy leather but just to have a look-see as we’ve read negative reviews about purchasing leather there.

From our hotel, we headed back towards SM Novella train station and crossed over the round-about to the Zoppini Store. In-front of this store is where you can catch the dedicated black colored bus to Barberino outlet about 35 km away. We then walked along Nazionale Street heading to the San Lorenzo street market.

Florence walkabout. Barberina outlet bus.

You can catch the bus to Barberino outlet diagonally opposite the SM Novella train station at the Zoppini Store. It’s the black bus you want to get onto.

Florence walkabout.

Bus route and timetable along the street.

Florence walkabout.

A ‘Smart’ car with see-through doors. Cinderella would love this.

Florence walkabout.

Scooters are what Italy are famous for.

Florence walkabout.

A make shift round-about ?

At the San Lorenzo street market, we noticed one particular design of handbag which looks very nice being sold by multiple vendors … so can this be an Italian handmade product as claimed? We didn’t bother to ask.

Florence walkabout. San Lorenzo Market

The San Lorenzo street market.

Florence walkabout. San Lorenzo Market.

Selling leather, clothing and souvenirs. But be wary, there’s a whole lot of low quality imported leather here.

Florence walkabout. San Lorenzo street market

You can also find pottery & ceramic at San Lorenzo street market.

We continued walking until the end of the street market and reached Basilica di San Lorenzo. From here the dome of the Cathedral Santa Maria del fiore can be partially seen. Onwards, we walked to the cathedral, then passed a street with many branded stores and unexpectedly reached Hard Rock cafe & its Rock Shop. We continued walking until we reached Piazza della Signoria. Here you can dwell at the statue of David.

We headed back to our hotel from here as twilight was approaching. Most of Florence’s major attractions are of walking distance and easy to locate.

Florence walkabout. Basilica di San Lorenzo.

Basilica di San Lorenzo. The dome of the cathedral Santa Maria can be partially seen.

Florence walkabout. Cathedral santa maria del fiore.

Cathedral Santa Maria del fiore with its famous red dome.

Florence walkabout. Battistero di san giovanni.

Battistero di san giovanni across the Cathedral.

Florence walkabout.

The dome of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, the bell tower & baptistery of San Giovanni all in one.

Florence walkabout.

Many branded shops in Florence.

Florence walkabout

Prada among the branded shops.

Florence walkabout. Hard Rock cafe.

Hard Rock cafe & Rock Shop in Florence.

Florence walkabout. Piazza della Signoria.

Piazza della Signoria. A piece of ‘David’ at the far end.