Testing Ed & Susan's Travel Blog!

 wrote it after having a recent conversation with some people I met in Florence. They liked the food but hated the crowds, with one of them saying “too touristy.” While I considered that truth, I was also physically reminded that I was in front of someone who wasn’t entirely aware that they too were a tourist. They were in no uncertain terms coming to visit a city they heard they should see. I came away from that conversation thinking about it this a little more deeply.


The thing about a city like Florence, one that regularly tops the “reader’s favorites” lists on Conde Nast or Travel& Leisure is that the local population totals around 350,000 while the number of visits equal roughly 16 million people in 2015 alone, with around 13.6 overnight stays according to official numbers. That’s a heck of a lot of people in this tiny Renaissance city that once held around 60,000 people in the 15th century.


We found a dog on the road.

We found a dog on the road.

It can cause problems of course. For some reason people seem to think you can visit the city in few hours. And sure you can. But you probably will hate it, like this guy who I suspect knew he would get plenty of website hits with a title like “I was supposed to like Florence”. Despite what some say about Florence, it wasn’t put on this earth to entertain you like a trained monkey. It is what it is, enjoy it or move on. I’m sure that even he know that if you visit a city like this for just a short time, hurrying along one famous iconic monument to another with barely a break — you won’t see what most of us love about this place.


You won’t have time to wander the backstreets behind piazza tasso, watching the older men argue on the few benches that do exist in city parks. You won’t see the local baker near Santo Spirito cheekily pull out a slice of steaming-hot schiacciata for a very happy little girl on her way home from school. You won’t be on your third gelato of the day, lost in some Florentine suburb that you didn’t really plan to visit but happy you did. You won’t make your way up to Forte Belvedere to see contemporary art playfully interact with ancient Medicean history, or checking ancient armor in the city’s very underrated Stibbert museum. You won’t dig into hot coccoli which means “cuddles” in Italian, served with creamy stracchino cheese and salty prosciutto at Brindellone. Nope you won’t have time for that, you’ll be busy sweating in the line for the Uffizi and wondering what all the hype is about regarding this Renaissance stronghold, all overhearing someone’s pick-pocketing experience on Trenitalia.