During my first visit to Florence I fell head over heels for the bridges over the Arno River. It was summer then, streets and bridges overflowing with people alike, making it difficult to set up a tripod and take your time with the shot. Winter in Florence, however, is a whole new ballgame. The wind feels like a thousand knives as it slices through your body and pierces your bones, and holding out for over an hour on a bridge to witness one of the most sensational urban sunsets is both a mental and physical challenge.

Nevertheless, patience and perseverance are rewarded for those who have the courage and are blessed with the light. If you look out onto the river, you will find sufficient entertainment with the seagulls, pigeons and ducks that remain unfazed by the cold water. Last time I was here, the summer hype blessed me with a gondola passing beneath the Ponte Vecchio, which is a bit of an oddity since these gondolas are typical of Venice, and not Florence. The other day, however, I spotted one brave human soul who needed to burn off extra energy with his kayak.

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The classic Ponte Vecchio of Florence ©MTHerzog 2017

When in Tusany you cannot outrun the Tuscan gold, and this is something you find on most old houses in Florence but also throughout the Tuscan countryside. Charming, per se, but when the sunlight hits the buildings and the reflections of the river bounce off the walls, it becomes the stuff of fairy tales.

Click here for the full set of photographs that accompany this article.

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