The sun shone brightly when we arrived in Florence and we were hot and frustrated as we tried to figure out where the hostel we were staying at was located. Those first few hours in the city was the best weather we had over the three nights we spent in Florence.
It rained so much that we were forced to buy an umbrella each. One for €3 from a street seller who penned us in the entrance to McDonald’s and the second was from the €1 store, which also came with a poncho! We didn’t wear the poncho.
Walking the streets of Florence on a dry day with no umbrella is no mean feat in itself as you will get knocked, bashed, shouldered or walked into. Add rain and an umbrella in everyone’s hand and it means you will be fighting against a barrage of people knocking their umbrellas into yours. So if you don’t have a good or big umbrella, like we didn’t then there’s a good chance it will break or tear by the end of your trip!
The worst downpour struck not long after we had crossed the Ponte Vecchio bridge and we had to take cover while rain and thunder made tourists scatter. But even in heavy rain the Ponte Vecchio bridge is a pleasure to walk down and has some great views of the Arno river. Shamefully when we first stepped on it I recognised the bridge from Assassin’s Creed II.
We didn’t let the bad weather stop us from achieving our sightseeing goals. We climbed to the top of the duomo, which has an exciting last part of the climb as the steps become even steeper and arched as you ascend the dome. Even in the rain the views of the city were unique and again my imagination slipped into Assassin’s Creed and I pictured Ezio Auditore running along the iconic red tiled rooftops of the city. Beyond the city limits were the Tuscan hills and countryside and we were blessed with some sunshine to cap off the experience.
We also climbed the bell tower which stands next to the duomo and shares the same architectural design, with their slightly unusual colours of white and green and incredibly well carved statues and stonework. The views from the bell tower made it a worthy competitor to the duomo, as the bell tower had a perfect close up view of the duomo and it’s dome.
Florence has too much on offer for the rain to put anyone off. It is a beautifully quaint Italian city, jam packed with history, architecture and varied places to eat.