Across the River: Sights to See and Some Photography

Monday: I decided to go out into the city and wander around and ended up across the river in the other half of the city. (I don’t have classes on Monday).

Scooters on the Ponte alle Grazie bridge.

I hiked up some random grassy slopes and found myself in the Piazzale Michelangelo, a famous square with a fantastic, panoramic view of Florence.

The beautiful bridges that connect the two halves of the city. The Ponte Vecchio (the biggest one) was the only one spared during bombing of the other bridges by the Germans as they retreated in 1944 during World War II. (It crosses the shallowest part of the river, so that area of the river could have been rapidly crossed even if the bridge had been destroyed.) This is why the Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge.

The seam between the city and country (view from Piazzale Michelangelo).

I continued uphill and soon arrived at a white church, the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte (“St. Minias on the Mountain”). 

 The church had an enormous cemetery, with family tombs and a lot of statues. I spent a while walking around .

The bell tower of the church. 

He kind of looks like Frodo.

I think these are family tombs.

That large angel statue was so cool! Her wings are so slim and gorgeous.

I love those wings so much.


Super random carving. Not sure why there’s an octopus on this child’s grave.

View from the church’s steps as I was leaving.

My own Duomo photograph!

Walking downhill, I stopped at the rose garden (which is open to the public). None of the roses bloomed yet (usually that happens in May).

Trapped in the rose garden — I didn’t realize there’s only one way in and out.

I really liked the other side of the city, and stopped by a grocery store there.

I stumbled across the Piti palace, but my favorite part was seeing the Ponte Vecchio (the “Old Bridge,” the lower half of which is filled with stores that sell gold, and the upper part originally served as a walkway between the two palaces of the wealthy Medici family).

Just casually bicycling and talking on the phone.

Grocery store stand.

I bought some postcards and stamps utilizing my (patchy) Italian! I asked “Hai fracobollo?” = Do you have stamps? I also took some photos of the municipal police officers wandering around the city.Police – There are three types of police in Florence:

  • The municipal police are the city police: they deal with traffic fines and giving directions.
  • The state police are the intense ones that “hunt down the bad guys.”
  • There are also financial police that track you down if you play games with paying your taxes.

Side note: female police officers in Florence can be very cheery and helpful, helping tourists with directions and taking their pictures. They also wear make-up and can keep their hair down.

Cool street art! A parody.

A gluten-free menu: super exciting!

Some sort of desperate (and creepy) marketing failure.

And while we’re on the topic of failure, check out these portable yetti feet.

Creeper shot#5: He looks like a starfish.

Map of where I walked.

  • Orange: My walk to the Basilica San Miniato.
  • Blue: My walk from the Basilica San Miniato.

Evening: One of my study abroad classmates couldn’t make it to the wine tasting class  and she let me have her spot, so Elizabeth and I dressed up and went to a lecture packed with information about wine (Elizabeth’s learning about the wine business, and I was just the tag-along.

Zola! She belongs to one of the AIFS staff. She’s a sweetie.


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