Walk,walk and walk.This is what I did during my 3-day stay in Florence. This city is small enough to be seen on foot and probably the only way to discover beautiful corners among its charming narrow streets. The city is old, well-kept and beautiful. Its cobbled roads and buildings’ stoned walls have seen centuries of history where world-wide acclaimed artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Boticcelli, Tiziano (to name a few) created master pieces lasting centuries of fame. The beauty of Florence is characterized by the impeccable interiors of its buildings with impressive frescoes, marbled sculptures and sparkling golden ceilings; the large wooden doors reinforced with iron; and the green hills of Tuscany surrounding the city. Everything is made with style in Florence: the street lamps, the bridges, the shops, the fountains… No wonder is a world’s reference for art and design. You only need to look at the stylish leather accessories found in every street and corner of the city: it is a true paradise for the leather craftsmanship!!!
There are so many things to do and see in Florence that a short stay will be only enough to get a taste for it and leave enough to visit a second time. Unless you’re a lucky one with plenty of time to spend here. Most visitors stay between 3-4 nights, which in my humble opinion is a good length stay if the trip is well-planned and time well-spent. There are many churches, monasteries,museums and galleries you can go in but it would be quite expensive if you were to go inside every one of them (not to mention time-consuming). Plan well ahead which places you’re most interested in visiting to allocate money of your budget to them. I visited a few places I did not love but many others that were worth every cent. Here are my top 5:
- View of Florence from Michelangelo stairs and the gardens around them (free)
- View of Florence from the tower of Palazzo Vecchio (entry ticket for tower+museum)
- The Cattedrale di Santa Maria deal Fiore (the cathedral) for the dome ceiling (free)
- Uffizi Gallery for the Renaissance art (purchase tickets ahead of time online to avoid queues)
- Walking over Ponte Vecchio along the many jewelery displays (free)
I went inside other museums and churches but these five ones were my favorite ones. With regards to restaurants, there is a whole world of food options in the historic city. Mainly all Italian food, catering for the tourists.What does this mean? Expect higher prices and more-widely accepted dishes than in local restaurants where you can taste a more varied cuisine. If you don’t eat gluten products like me, you will have to be ready to pay more to eat a salad or some protein dish with vegetables aside. What is cheap is to eat paninis, pizzas and breads. Another must try when you’re in Florence, or in Italy, is the coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker but Italians surely know how to make an exquisite cappuccino.
If you’re wondering where to stay, there are so many hotel options with different price ranges. Florence ain’t cheap (in general the entire of Italy is very pricey for tourism). I did quite a lot of research to find a good match between quality and price. I stayed in a classic double bedroom with river view at the Palazzo Alfieri by the river bank next to the Piazza Trinita and I was very impressed with the quality of my room, service and exquisite breakfast. The location was central enough to walk everywhere within 5-10 minutes but apart from the buzzy main squares to allow a good silent rest.
Here are a few other places I enjoyed in Florence….
Here are some more photos of the beautiful art found in all these sights mentioned and along the streets of Florence.
Enjoy Florence! Happy travels!!