Florence is a pedestrianised city where people share some of the streets with vehicles. You may think that this would be dangerous. But, no. It works. It is not uncommon to see groups of people talking the middle of the street where there are clearly vehicles moving passed them. People and traffic seem to blend fluidly together in an organised flow.
Florence is known for its art, architecture and, of course, Michelangelo’s David. A visit to Florence would not be complete without stopping by the Academia Galleria. You will often see many people crowded into the one gallery cameras primed and aimed ready to shoot. Everyone is set to capture the tall, impressive marble sculpture on camera.
But, did they really see the David? Did they appreciate the intricate detail Michelangelo put into creating his masterpiece? Maybe. Maybe not.
We often take so many photos, concerned with taking that perfect shot, we are not fully appreciative of an amazing piece of artwork right in front of us.
Sometimes it is important to put down the camera and appreciate beauty through your own natural eyes.
Most importantly, take a moment to stop, sit and see the city.
If you want to really see a city like Florence, take a walk through the smaller streets and laneways. Tourists tend not to venture too far away from the main sights. Which is a shame, there are so many more shops, bars, restaurants and even smaller museums hidden away.
I was sitting in one of the small piazzas when a small bird flew down to perch on the seat a few feet from me. It was a magical moment to just watch and appreciate this tiny bird. I watched the tilt of its head from side to side, curious about the environment it had just flown into.
When we travel, it should be with the same curiousity as that tiny bird. There are so many things you will discover are different, but maybe also the same as your own country. Where they are different, embrace the opportunity to learn more about why and enrich your experience.
The world is a beautiful place and once in a while let’s stop and take time to simply enjoy it. Preferably without a camera lens.