Florence: An Italian Crown Jewl
Florence is, without a doubt, one of the crown jewels of Italy. With no shortage of architecture, history, art, and cuisine, you might be feeling overwhelmed with deciding what is worth your time. We all would love to have unlimited time and money in one of the most mesmerizing cities in the world, but alas, we do not. So, in an attempt to provide you with some direction and inspiration for your Italian excursion, here are some tips to aid in your adaptation of the Italian way of life.
Perhaps the first thing you have to do when you arrive is set yourself up for an incredible sunset. In all my years of travel, I have truly never seen such an amazing sunset as I have in Florence. Two of the best spots are the Ponte Vecchio Bridge that spans the river, and walking up to Piazzale Michaelangelo. WHile the Pazzale Michaelangelo is a lot stairs, it is absolutely worth it for the stunning view of the city. Your Instagram and your soul will both be happy.
Speaking of climbing, ascending to the top of the Duomo and the belltower is a must. Built between the 13th and 15th centuries, the Duomo was purely for decoration and actually wasn’t completely fitted out until the 19th century. Nevertheless, thanks to the location and nature of the building, the Duomo and church house some of the most magnificent pieces of art in the region. Don’t let the height of the climb deter you; you’ll be certain to pause and take note of the insane art and architecture along the way. Plus, the view of the city from the top is another stop you simply can’t miss out on.
Don’t Miss the Famous Great Works of Art
Of course, if you like art, you are certainly in the right place! As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence has no shortage of museums to visit. A Florence-favorite is the Uffizi Gallery, located next to the Piazza della Signoria. Since it is a world-class institution, visitors may have to wait in a long que, but you can skip this by purchasing tickets ahead of time for a small fee, well worth the time saved. For those interested in “off the beaten path” type of experiences, the Uffizi Gallery also has a secret gallery and the Vasari Corridor you can tour that was accessed by the Medici themselves.
Italian Street Food to Seek Ambitiously
It wouldn’t be a visit to Italy without mention of the cuisine and food available right at your fingertips. Since Florence is a major city for tourism, you might find yourself in “vaguely authentic” restaurants. By this I mean the menu is in English and everyone you see is also a tourist. While these eateries may be great for quick bites, be sure to venture deeper into the city to have a truly Italian experience. If the menu is in Italian and you see an old man drinking espresso outside at 7 pm, you are probably in the right neighborhood. After a giant bowl of pasta, explore and try all of the gelato flavors your stomach can possibly handle. Italy is world-renowned for their perfection of the summer treat, so don’t miss any opportunity to savor and enjoy!
With a bit of research and motivation, your trip to Florence will undoubtedly be one of your favorites. Thanks views and experiences to last a lifetime, you might just want to pick up and make Florence a permanent home!
Check out my Destination Guides for other great trips!