A Room Without a View in Florence

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Don’t you agree that on one’s first visit to Florence, one must have a room with a view?

Yes, yes, yes. I totally agree!

I, in fact, now am entirely convinced that a room with a view in Florence is a rite of passage, a permission to fully engage, and an unspoken agreement to relish the very essence of your first encounter of the fascinating city to the fullest.

This beating heart of the Tuscan region in Italy can steal your breath with its charming medieval appeal, just by walking its streets. That doesn’t means that you are obliged to deprive yourself from the pleasure of waking up to a captivating view from another era every morning, or enjoying the most magical sunsets over an enchanting Florentine horizon from your own hotel room window, just because you are able to direct the extra cost towards other activities, like we did…

If I ever possessed the power to rewind time, I would be the first to take my own advice. I would defiantly choose to invest in a room with a gorgeous view on my first time in Florence, because later I realized that its absence is the biggest waste of money, and I had no business suggesting letting go of it in the name of frugality. Angel really needs to start lessoning less to me!

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The view from our room, if I stretched half of my body out of the window and to the right…

We stayed at Hotel Degli Orafi, which I didn’t know was the location of the opening and closing scenes of the Oscar winning 1985 movie “A Room with a View”, until we got there. It was a pleasant surprise that probably prompted my wish to undergo the same extravagant Hollywood moments that took place there, totally forgetting that we had opted for the less fashionable option. The thought certainly sounded promising, even though I hadn’t watched the movie at that time.

We checked into the room, and the first thing I do (after jumping on the bed) is rushing to the window to see if we have fortunately purchased a winner. To my disappointment I was faced with a big and tall wall that hid a dazzling view of the Arno behind it, at least it was a good-looking detailed wall with perfectly preserved rustic characteristics. Nonetheless, my stomach churned in regret. It felt like someone just threw a bucket of diesel on the aisle on my wedding day, and my grand entrance was ruined.

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Florence is not short for attractive views, at the beginning it actually struck me as too pretty to be true, I had to take a mental step back to be able to grasp it. With all of that on offer though, I was reassured that the city will find a way to compensate me for my initial loss.

In the evening we took a walk to explore the neighbourhood. Across the road from the hotel, his majesty the great Arno River gushed sturdily and steadily providing a harmonizing rhythm. We joined the mass of commuters and spectators to enjoy the live light, colour and water show, and it wasn’t long before I developed a lasting bond with the place.

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The last bridge standing

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Even Hitler thought it would be a waste to destroy this historical masterpiece during World War II, and it was saved in the 11th hour. Haven survived the war and major floods over the years, this bridge has become a true symbol of the eternal splendour of Florence, but I am not sure for how much longer will it hold up. Due to climate change, the constant rising levels of water in the Arno, similar to other European rivers, is a real threat. While it’s here, it makes fine eye candy.

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Soon, the sun descended closer to the horizon, and it was time to commence plan B, checking out the view from the roof top terrace at Hotel Degli Orafi.

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Voila. Who needs Plan A when plan B is just as glamorous?

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The terrace is located above the actual “room with a view”. Looking at it from above, with a glimpse of the infamous view, I could only imagine why they would film an academy award winner in there!

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When the sun finally met the horizon, the view turned into a sensational visual feast, tantalizing to the naked eye, and responsive to my camera’s lens.

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This wasn’t a complete “mal plan” at the end. The hotel itself was fantastic, so Perhaps I was meant to learn the hard way that in certain destinations a room with a view is an integral part of the experience. It is as important as the location and the service at the chosen accommodation, at least to me it is.

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You know it’s a great hotel when you come back to your room in the evening, and you find your jammies ready on the bed.

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Tell me, In which city did you stay in a room with a gorgeous view? Your suggestions could help me make better choices in the future.

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