|Piazza del Duomo|
|the car free Via Dei Calzaiuoli|
|along the Mura di Firenze - the ancient defensive walls of the city|
|bike path along the Arno|
I have finally gotten around to tackling (umm, organizing) my photos taken in Italy last month. So, Florence, compared to fast-pace scooter-centric Rome, is a serene bicycle-mania city. It was impressive how much cycle-chic-watching could be done right in the cultural heart of the city in the Piazza Di San Giovanni, adjacent from the Duomo! Mind you this was February - so I can only imagine what it's like when the temperature is higher then 50°F/10°C. Aside from the large number of college (exchange) students in the city core, like in many European cities, there is great diversity among the ages of bicyclists. So refreshing to see!
Another remarkable thing about Florence is its progressive and young (born in 1975) Mayor, Matteo Renzi. Soon after taking office in 2009, Mayor Renzi transformed one of the most famous squares in Italy, the Piazza del Duomo, by closing it off to motorized traffic making it 100% pedestrian and bike-friendly. The last century of smog did leave a lasting impression -- the blacked facades are still totally visible on the Baptistery and Cathedral and have yet to be fully cleaned/restore. Mayor Renzi has a lot more wonderful plans for the city including many new bike lanes, more restricted traffic zones, making the city center easier for mothers and pregnant women, and is considering allowing only electric cars into the city center! If you are fluent in Italian, you can read his 100 pledges, check out his website, and social network via his Twitter and Facebook.
|these two images are from flickr |
of Mayor Renzi (in the blue blazer) touring the city by bike