From Venice to Florence

Tourist Season

My answer to this graffiti is, of course, that you can’t hang a tourists’ head on your wall as a trophy.  This “artist” was one of the first to greet us in Florence once we left Venice. And while it may be funny to see your name (tourist) written on the wall, it’s just a little scary thinking you may be in someone’s crosshairs.   Living in an area that attracts numerous tourist each year, I completely understand the sentiment, but also greatly appreciate the business our guests bring to our area.

Fortunately, this was the closest we came to an unpleasant experience by any Italian. All but one or two Italians in 14 days were so very kind and helpful. Those who weren’t helpful were called “gypsies” who accosted us at the train station. They would offer to help load your luggage onto the train, but then demand payment for the help. One older Italian gentlemen warned us to keep our eyes open around one group of “gypsies.” He not only didn’t want to shoot us…he wanted to protect us. We only encountered them once. Everywhere else, we made every effort to speak their beautiful language, but when we struggled, they were more than happy to speak or at least try English. Every single person I met was generous and went out of their way to make us feel welcome. In the words of Tina Fey, “I want to go to there”, again!

As we were sightseeing through the historical city of Florence, my brother-in-love didn’t warn us that we were about to see the Duomo, which was completed in 1436. As we rounded a corner, this massive cathedral rose up from the cobblestone streets and did a magnificent job welcoming us to Florence.  I lost my breath. I didn’t see the interior, but the exterior is so very beautiful, that I’m not sure my lungs could have lived through the experience.

Duomo, Florence Italy

Duomo, Florence Italy

My pictures can never do justice to the massive size and detail of the architecture of this cathedral.


Duomo, Florence Italy

Duomo, Florence, Italy


Duomo, Florence, Italy

And speaking of breathtaking, photos are not allowed of Michelangelo’s David, but I had the exact same reaction when I saw it for the first time. We were touring the Accademia in Florence and again, our “tour guide” didn’t inform us that THE ‘David’ was just inside the next room. It was one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve ever received. Seeing the magnificence and the size of the sculpture literally brought tears to all of our eyes.

While we chuckled about the “tourist season” graffiti when we first saw it, the beauty of this country makes these misdemeanor offenses seem much greater when you consider the value attached to so many historical structures. The message may have been intended to insult present tourists, but the real abuse is to the memory and respect of  the architects, brick masons and builders who created these landmarks that so many desire to see. Perhaps there should be a graffiti “artist” hunting season. Now, that’s a trophy I just might hang on my wall.

8 thoughts on “From Venice to Florence

  1. I loved Florence also and want to go back and see the inside of all the gorgeous buildings.

    I like you was not prepared for the awestruck experience seeing the David in person. They have done a fabulous job with the lighting and the how he is showcased in the setting. You are mesmerized and it is hard to take your eyes off him on every side. We were hurried through. I could have stayed much longer.

    I agree the fabulous architecture is amazing.

    I enjoyed another stroll through Florence . Thank you for the reminder of great memories.

    1. Jenna, thanks for your sweet comments. You captured what I’m passionate about on retrospect… The beauty of Italy and those unsettling things that diminish it.

  2. Hi Kim–
    I have enjoyed reading many of
    your posts. Sounds like your
    summer is off to a great start!
    I got to tag along on a trip to
    Rome a few years ago when my
    husband was there for business.
    That little taste left me definitely
    wanting more : ) How special to
    go with your family, too!

    The Duomo is magnificent. What
    a challenge to capture its beauty,
    but you did it!

    xo Suzanne

  3. Yes, we can sympathize with their love/hate of the tourists can’t we? When we were in Italy, we tried to be “good” Americans and wear nice clothes. One Italian asked if we were from the Netherlands, and when we said “no,” he said he didn’t guess America since we weren’t sloppy dressers!

    What a treat you had seeing these beautiful things!

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