CNY in Florence  春節でフィレンゼに行って来ます

For the past several years, my Chinese New Year holidays have been spent in Europe as a way of taking advantage of the low-season there and avoiding the high-season chaos in Asia.  This year was no different as I headed off to Florence, Italy – with a day trip by train to nearby Siena thrown in for good measure.


I think that the only real downside to traveling Europe in February is the weather – mostly wet this year.  Even then, I prefer that to the crowds of tourists that would be swarming like mosquitoes during the summer break.  Not to mention the high temperatures.  May as well stay in Hong Kong for that.


Florence is a much smaller city than Rome, so that makes it very walk-able. As you can imagine, the central part and anywhere that has a major tourist attraction is going to be jam-packed.  Even during the low season of February I was surprised how busy the city was.  I can only guess at the craziness of summer.


There are several must-see galleries and museums in the city.  Obviously the Galleria dell’Accadmia, with Michelangelo’s “David” is a huge draw but to be honest, not the most impressive of all that Florence has to offer.  The Uffizi gallery is marvelous.  There are so many exhibits that I decided to squeeze in a second visit.  The Bargello is fantastic for statuary, many done by masters.  The Palatine gallery and the Pitti gallery are certainly worth a look if you want to see the opulence of the Medici family.  I skipped the Boboli gardens primarily due to the time of year – not much to see in February.


Siena was pleasant once the weather improved.  When I arrived, it was hailing.  Thankfully that only lasted for about 30 minutes, but the wind that forced the closure of several high-level viewpoints lasted all day.


I could go on about Florence in more detail, but I suppose the photos will give a better idea.






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