Kilometer 66

Oltrarno

Mindy FikeComment

City Trek, Defined; that walk you take the first day you arrive in a new city, with no particular goal other than to get the feel for a place. The city trek is usually our favorite memory of a place.

Oltrarno is one of our favorite scarves for dressing up a jeans and t-shirt ensemble, or adding a little flair to a suit jacket. This photo was taken during a city trek through a wonderful neighborhood in Florence, when the wandering took our photographer to "the other side of the tracks."

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The bulk of Florence’s must-see sites are clustered in the Old Town north of the Arno. Most visitors rarely cross the river, beyond the requisite stroll across the Ponte Vecchio. Some trek on a few blocks to the Pitti Palace, then scoot back across the bridge to continue feasting on Florence’s bounty.

It’s a pity. Just to the north and west of Pitti lies the beating heart of the Santo Spiritu Oltrarno neighborhood (“other side of the Arno”) - a couple of dozen blocks that, some say, still belongs to the Florentines.

Stroll into the night past shops, studios, bars and restaurants spilling their warm light onto cobbled streets. Slow down. Take the time to to absorb it: the graffiti … locals visiting in the street … a craftsman absorbed in his work … that shockingly well-laden bar of snacks to complement your regional wine or spritz con aperol. 

Then sit on the steps of the chiesa, and laugh out loud. Give thanks, and let the lively piazza absorb you.


—  Notes and travel photos by Doug Fike and Worldview Photography