Turns out, though, that it's not really a place you should try to visit as an afterthought. Or in 27 hours. Because in Florence, to visit just about any place when you haven't reserved days in advance tends to involve spending several hours standing in a queue. Also, you have to pay (a lot) to visit absolutely anything, including churches, so wandering in and out of places just to see if they're interesting isn't really an option.
The most impressive waiting we saw was when we lined up for half an hour in front of the Uffizi to book a slot to visit the following day. The massed queue was managed by the carabinieri, (one of Italy's many police forces), but that didn't stop some brazen souls from jumping it. Once inside, we were informed that all the times up to three o'clock were already full and, with a train to catch at 5pm, we were forced to give up. I was also sad not to climb up to the cupola of the cathedral or the bell tower, but again the queues were so long that both times we tried, we would never actually have got to the front of it before either the place closed or we had to be somewhere else.
Nevertheless, we managed to have a good time, mostly by strolling around and admiring all the gorgeous architecture from the outside:
|View of the Duomo from La Rinascente department store. A sneaky look at the view from their tiny terrace is FREE!|
|Ponte Vecchio. Also free, but better enjoyed from a distance, especially if crowds scare you.|
|Santa Croce church, with a massive piece of public art in the piazza.|