I arrived at 6.30PM, just in time to drop off my bags and set out with our friend. We managed to catch the dying light on the Ponte Alle Grazie.
After dinner, our host took us on a long walking tour, reintroducing us to the famous buildings we had previously only seen in daylight.
|Palazzo Vecchio front entrance|
...but at night the time markers glow, revealing the symbols labelled as signs of the zodiac.
To see all of Florence at night you have to climb. We dragged ourselves up a steep cobbled hill and eight flights of stone stairs!
We marched up...
...and up. 'You're doing great,' the towers of the Duomo and the Palazzo Vecchio seemed to say to us. 'Keep going.'
And it was worth it. The Piazzale Michelangelo is a perfect spot to see Florence laid out. The old city is gloriously lit, the main streets bright enough to read by (and to find your friends on a busy Saturday night).
|David and Jupiter (tiny dot to the upper right of the statue's head)|
Yet another David guards the piazza, which is paved with firm, mirror-smooth asphalt - the opposite of the rough flagstones on other streets. Apparently it's a crucial stop on the Mille Miglia: the famous Italian vintage car race stretching from Brescia to Rome and back. We were pleased to find a surprise photobomber in this shot: the planet Jupiter, shining so strongly our camera could catch it even through the city lights!
We made our way home past the darkened Rose and Iris Gardens and the Torre de San Niccolo. As the lights glimmered on the river and the occasional late cyclist passed, we said good night to Florence and anticipated the next few days.