Florence (actually Firenze, pronounced "Fee-REN-zuh")
is a beautiful old city that stretches along the Arno River
and far away from it.
Full of great architecture, art, and interesting old streets to wander,
this is a city worth lingering in.
Half the tourists in the world have that idea in the summer.
If you don't love waiting in line for hours at a museum,
and if you don't mind some cool (or cold) weather,
why not try Florence in the winter?
A jacket and a hat will keep you warm,
and the short wait to get into the toasty restaurants and bars
(many of which are still open this time of the year) will make you happy.
If cloudy skies depress you, put on your rose-colored glasses and smile!
During a week in January, I stayed at a little pension around the corner from the Ponte Vecchio (the famous old bridge lined with shops) for 25 euros (30 US dollars) a night. I strolled into the Uffizi art gallery -- three minutes' walk from my pension -- and saw incredible art with no one (in a lot of rooms, not even a museum guard!) to distract me. So what are you waiting for?? Book a ticket!
To encourage you a bit more, here are some photos from my neighborhood
along the Arno.
(These photographs are Copyright © 2004 by Jerry Peek. Much higher-resolution versions of most images, and many other images too, are available at Jerry Peek Photography. Photos are available at reduced prices, or free, for non-commercial use.)