A room with a view

“The Signora had no business to do it,” said Miss Bartlett, “no business at all. She promised us south rooms with a view close together, instead of which here are north rooms, looking into a courtyard, and a long way apart. Oh, Lucy!”
E.M.Forster A Room with a View
I have always loved A Room with a View (the movie – I must get around to reading the book). I especially enjoyed the representation of symbolic differences between Italy and Edwardian England.
Italy was portrayed as a place of freedom and free expression and offered a raw passion that contrasted with the constrictions of English society.
Of course, in the movie a lot of that is conveyed through the scenery of Florence, and the movie starts with the issue of the ladies not receiving the promised “room with a view”.
I couldn’t help thinking about this movie often while we were in Florence.

I’m not sure what constitutes “a room with a view”, but I was happy with the view from our room. It was fun to watch the goings-on in the street.

And if we wanted a slightly grander view, we just had to stand at the hotel front door. (The church is Santa Maria Novella).

Just a short walk away, we had our first glimpse of the Duomo.

And then, a more up-close view of Florence’s most famous symbol.

A bit more of a walk, and we hit the River Arno and the Ponte Vecchio, which is the oldest surviving bridge in the city (built in 1345). It was originally the home of blacksmiths, butchers and tanners, but that activity caused a bit of a stench. Duke Ferdinando I took exception to it, and in 1693 they were evicted and replaced with jewellers and goldsmiths…

…who remain there to this day.

The other side of the bridge and the River Arno. It was a view of the Arno that the ladies had been promised by the Signora. I can understand the attraction.

And another view of the Dome.  No matter where you are going in Florence, it seems you pass by the Duomo, so we saw it at all times of day and in all lights.
Who needs a room with a view when you have two feet and a heartbeat?
Later today…more from Florence.
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