If you love Florence, have a few hundred Euros to spare and don’t mind climbing steps, I can certainly recommend the wonderful holiday flat in Torre Corso Donati.
The views are simply astounding.
From the living-room are at the top of the tower there are views on all three sides over the pan-tiled and spired Florentine roofscape to the Tuscan hills beyond. You name it, you can see it, the Duomo and Giotto’s Campanile, the Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Croce, San Miniato al Monte …
As the bells tolled across the rooftops or the moon slid slowly between the towers and spires I often picked my jaw off the floor and observed to my wife and kids, ‘We don’t even need to go out!’
It was worth every Euro for the view alone.
Of course, we did go out. We queued for the art galleries, climbed the steps to the top of the great Dome, explored the street markets and the piazzas. We even found some quieter corners away from the August heat and hordes. Our accommodation gave us the best of both worlds, a central location close to all the sites and sights and the ability to withdraw to an eyrie above the clamour and crowds.
I often think that consultancy work is like that. It gives you a vantage point. You can spot things from a distance which the client may not have noticed themselves as they are too embroiled with the action on the ground. I recently elicited an astonished gasp from someone on the client-side when I pointed out a particular structural/departmental issue. They were astounded at what they took to be an almost uncanny level of insight. Perhaps I should have laid claim to such a thing, but I explained that it was simply a matter of having a vantage point and the luxury of being able to take the broader view.
Like hindsight, insight from a distance is a wonderful thing. I may have enjoyed the views of Florence from our lofty tower, but we wouldn’t have had the full experience if we hadn’t queued and jostled and got up close and personal. I was both very touched and highly delighted recently when a client observed that unlike other consultants he’d worked with, I was prepared to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in. I’d like to think that’s something of a USP. It’s a combination of eagle-eyed insight with the willingness and ability to get involved and make a difference on the ground.
Such a combination is rare, from what I hear. And like the view and central location of the Torre Corso Donati, it’s worth paying for …
I don’t charge over the odds and like to think I offer value for money. Insight from outside, action on the ground. I’m also independent and operate ‘above’ the politics. I’m not a robber baron like Corso Donati – who is mentioned in Dante it turns out – pulling up the ladder and disappearing into my snug safe tower each evening. I keep the doors and shutters open. I have the vantage point, but I also like to get involved.