Florence from a different point of view

It has been almost three months since I arrived here in Florence. I can remember the weak feeling in my knees when I first arrived and the uneasiness that circulated my thoughts as I began learning my way around. Coming from a small town in the States, life in the big city of Florence was a whole new world to me. Not only was I studying in a foreign city I was beginning an entirely new lifestyle there. Little by little I began figuring things out, how to take the bus, all the different routes to the Duomo, the ins and outs of this large but quaint place.

Like all things, learning to adjust to life in Florence is a very attainable thing. However in the beginning it seems to be a very scary and far off idea. I can remember not being confident in getting anywhere without a map or a friend to follow there. But then came that time where I forgot my map and there was no friend to show me the way. Instead I had to do this on my own, navigate my way through the narrow streets and avoid being trampled by the vespas and Fiat cars that whizzed past me. After nervously turning down corners of streets, not being quite sure where I was exactly, I finally made it to me destination. No extra help was necessary; no big tourist map was needed anymore. It was then that I realized I could live in Florence, or at least fake it as a Florentine and it wasn’t that scary of an idea anymore.

For those of you who do not have the pleasure of staying in Florence for an extended stay, I present another option that will allow you to feel the exact same sense of overwhelming achievement. I recommended climbing all of the steps of Duomo or as I did, climb the steps of the clock tower (the Campanile di Giotto) next door. For 6 Euro you can experience the same feelings I did when I finally found my way through Florence. At the beginning you feel so small as you look to the top of the Duomo’s bell tower (Campanile) and read the numerous signs promoting the great amount of steps you’re about to walk up. However when you do finally make it to the top, it is quite the work out I must be honest with you, you look down at Florence and the city that seemed so big before seems all the more smaller. Don’t forget to bring your camera as this is an achievement surely worth documenting as this feeling of accomplishment is something grand.

Jenny Macksamie

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