DW and I arrived in Florence 2 days ago. We’re staying at the lovely apt a few doors down from Pitti Palace where we stayed exactly one year ago. All is lovely, relatively uncrowded, with daytime temps in the 50s, perfect for long, leisurely walks.
Covid levels are “moderate” here, but masks are rarely seen—a bit more on public transport but that’s about it. We put ours on when we enter buildings and of course on transport.
Our flight from Detroit to Amsterdam was delayed more than 2 hours, which meant we missed our connection there to FLR. Friendly, efficient KLM agents rerouted us via Zurich, which has what must be the quietest, cleanest airport in the world, and with a view of the Alps in the distance.
Prices in the grocery stores are somewhat higher than they were last year and energy conservation is being encouraged, but the holiday lights are on, and the general mood appears to be positive.
We’re here for 10 days and intend to go at an easy pace—outdoor stuff on nice days (like today) and museums and such on drizzly days, expected later in the week. The fast train to Rome is less than 2 hours, so we may do that at some point; or perhaps Siena, which is a short local bus ride away. We’ll make our plans as we go along, to fit our mood and the weather.
PS: We’re ardent anti-Covid travelers. We wear real N95 masks in airports, on flights, and on public transport. We do not eat meals inflight, because that’s how we contracted Covid earlier this year. It’s entirely do-able. We’re grateful to be healthy and able to travel.
We did a train from Firenze to Rome. Day trip. From there we transferred to the tube, and popped up at Il Coloseo. Wandered a bit…all the way to Trevi Fountain. It was a nice day. Returned to Firenze just after dark.
Follow-up on our visit to Florence. DW and I had a wonderful time. Late November is definitely a great time to go: very little crowding (somewhat heavier on weekends), holiday lights aglow on the streets, pleasantly cool weather. We completed a Wondrium course online about Florence history and art that greatly informed our visit. The Bargello museum, housed in a one-time prison, contains an outstanding collection of sculptures and other art and is not to be missed. We also hiked up the steep hill to San Miniato Abbey for the glorious view, only a handful of other visitors there. We continued our practice of eating outdoors, which we enjoy, although we did duck into a nearly empty pub once to eat lunch while watching a World Cup match on TV.
We wore our masks indoors (churches, museums, Central Market) and while on public transit (including airports and the long plane rides), removing them only briefly to take a sip or a bite. We eat before flights and prefer to eat little or nothing inflight, even in non-Covid times, which minimizes GI issues. We’re now 5 days back from our 10-day trip, feel great, and tested negative for Covid.
I’m not giving advice, but I will say that traveling safely is not only possible but also highly enjoyable. We leave for our winter stay in Hawaii in 4 weeks.
And now I’ll attempt to upload a photo (of DW) from our trip.
Did you need any proof of vaccination for this trip? Thanks for posting this…doc
Did not. Not on the USA end nor on the Italy end. Of course, that can change. And it may be different for non-US citizens.
Thats great to know. Thanks so much. Already mentioned your topic/trip to the missus…doc