Firenze – that’s how Italians call ‘Florence’ and perhaps everyone who has ever been to this mesmerising city in the heart of Italy. It’s quiet; it’s chaotic yet it’s a melody that seeps deep down into your heart. With its charming locales, it offers everything honeymooners are looking for.
The moment you set foot in the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, you begin to notice a perfect blend of history coupled with modernity – a combination that will give you the best of both the eras – rich ancient European monuments and sculptures with a tinge of everything contemporary. One cannot but love Firenze for the artistic beauty it unfolds from every nook and corner. A couple can simply start their day by walking hand in hand on the sidewalks or along the river Arno, which by all means captures the essence of Firenze.
From morning till late in the night this river never sleeps and is the lifeline of the city. With a picturesque garden ‘Cascine’ and numerous temporary eateries on its banks, it gives countless choices for a day well spent. Cascine is a wide, spacious historical park that is just a perfect spot to lay down the mats in the realm of nature and sunbathe in the company of your spouse. During the summer, you’ll witness many residents hosting a bar-be-que on the riverbanks. Newlyweds can simply immerse in the happenings around them and experience the bliss.
For the lady of the house— every Tuesday the banks of Arno, overstepping all the calmness, transform into a full-fledged market that sells anything from everything at throwaway prices. You will notice people in large numbers thronging the temporary market. Around this zone, it is hard to be oblivious of the tramway passing across the Cascine Park. This tramway network connects Florence to Scandicci, which is one of the biggest suburbs of the city through a 7.4 km stretch with 14 stations. For an easy and quick movement from the main train station of Santa Maria Novellato other parts of the city, this modern day public transport will come to your rescue when you no longer have the energy or the willingness to walk any further.
For the much in love couples, a perfect escape from the clamor of the centre of the city is the Boboli Gardens. The gardens fall exactly behind the Pitti Palace and house the sculptures from the 16th and 18th century. With an entry ticket of mere 10 euro, you get to feel the magnificence of these gardens that is hard to match. Take a stroll while you embrace your partner without anybody being even mildly perturbed – just look for a sunny day to be your perfect third travel companion. If either of you is a book lover or a photography enthusiast, you couldn’t afford to miss this panoramic beauty.
In this Renaissance city when a bunch of people discuss art over a cup of coffee, the sculpture of David created by Michelangelo at the beginning of the 15th century always finds its way into the conversation. You just cannot come back from Firenze without setting your eyes on this piece of art, whether or not you are an ardent art aficionado. Placed at the centre of the city, outside the Palazzo Vecchio, in the vicinity of the Duomo, David boasts of a sculpture that is carved into the history world around. So much so that last July in Australia a certain art enthusiast tried to build a similar looking sculpture in his backyard that got him enough reactions on placing a nude statue within a residential area.
In fact, many art schools in Italy initiate their lessons by simply projecting the picture of David on the big screen and let their students throw themselves into the centuries-old art. Interestingly, what is placed outside the Palazzo Vecchio is nothing but a replica, the real statue stands inside the ‘Galleria dell’ Accademia di Firenze’ (Gallery of the Academy of Florence) to protect it from any uncertain danger. Duomo di Firenze, which is at a sniffing distance from David’s replica, is an ordinary name for ‘Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flowers’ that has become synonymous with the identity of Firenze over the years. Along with its relevance encrypted in the history of the city, Duomo makes for an exquisite backdrop to capture your unforgettable memories.
Walking around Firenze could unfold many interesting things for a couple. Nobody loves their cup of tea as much as Indians do. Being in Italy could deprive you of your cuppa when there is aroma of coffee all around. However, small streets a little away from the centre will take you to several tiny cafés that serve you tea in exactly the same manner as it’s supposed to be – hot water kettle, milk, your favorite tea flavor with a nice cup-plate to go with it. Sip in your choice of tea and you are ready to explore the city on your toes.
On the surface, being in Firenze could make a newlywed feel deprived of a beach when the sun is shining bright. However, if you walk further down the Arno River ahead of the Ponte Vecchio (Old bridge), you will witness a gamut of people lying on what looks like the sea sand with beach beds along the riverside, which serves as your very own beach—it is nothing less than a hidden treasure for a couple on the lookout for doing something different than hovering in and around the many museums of the city. On this artificial seashore there is no dearth of small yet fully operational bars that house various drinks to quench your thirst and for that matter your hunger as well. You can take a nibble of a sandwich or a Panini or whatever suits your taste buds and keep enhancing your tan without actually being at a real seaside. And yes, these man-made beaches are equipped with washrooms as well that is a quintessential aspect of being at a beach. You just have to get there and soak into the sun.
Moving from the sand to the sky is Piazza Michelangelo (Michelangelo Square), situated in the Oltrarno district of the city, which gives a breathtaking panoramic view of almost all of Florence. To the surprise of many visitors, David would come chasing you here as well—a bronze cast of the statue stands tall in the middle of the square facing the city. In the company of David and your beloved one, while basking in the glory of a beautiful sunset, on a quiet corner find your moment of love that can only be felt and not expressed in words. To add a cherry on the top, indulge in the numerous flavours of gelati (ice cream), no matter if it’s a hot sunny day or a cold winter evening. It is believed that Firenze has some of the best gelati in the whole of Europe. Give your memories an instant sweetener that will definitely make your heart melt and infuse in you a sense of belongingness with the city.
How to reach
Florence has its own international airport – Florence Airport, Peretola, which is well connected with big cities in and around Europe. You can either book a direct flight to Florence that will make a halt at Milan or Rome or Paris in France or to save some money you can take a direct flight to Milan or Rome and then take a train to Florence’s Santa Maria Novella station.
Where to stay
Staying in the vicinity of the centre will give access to all the major sights. Check numerous options close to Duomo or Piazza Santa Croce. You can either book an apartment with a local through various B&B websites or look for hotels that offer affordable and clean stay.