There are many reasons to visit Florence, Italy. Florence is the perfect size, just put on your walking shoes and you are good to go! Florence is also the perfect blend of old and new. It’s no wonder that I can’t get enough of the wonderful city of Firenze!
1. Piazzale Michelangelo
Looking for the best vantage point to capture the perfect Florentine sunset? Look no further! The Piazzale Michelangelo, on the other side of the Arno River is your spot. Getting there is easy. You can cab it, bus it, or walk it in about 20 minutes. Grab a friend, or lover and some good vino and head over!
2. The Duomo
Of course you can’t visit Florence without at least admiring the Duomo from the outside. If you are in shape and not claustrophobic (like me) climb to the dome for great views of the city. Step inside and you will marvel at the opulence.
3. The leather market and Mercato Centrale
First, shop till you drop at the leather market, which is conveniently located directly outside of the Mercato Centrale. Then head to the Mercato Centrale for at least a caffe. This place is food overload, mangia, mangia, mangia! Inside you will find anything from fresh produce, meats, desserts to all kinds of pasta and let’s not forget some good Prosecco!
4. The David
The David is everywhere, like here at the Piazza della Signoria! To be sure you see the real deal, head to the Accademia! A word to the wise, buy your tickets in advance.
5. The Uffizi
The Uffizi’s architecture is equally as impressive as its art so be sure to admire it both inside and out. We booked a three-hour walking tour of Florence, which included the best of the Ufizzi, with Chiara from Florence Custom Tours. I would highly recommend a tour of this museum as it is large and not easy to navigate. Before you leave, be sure to step out onto the terrace for some awesome views of the city. Here you must make reservations in advance.
6. The Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge that crosses the Arno in Florence and the only bridge that the Germans did not destroy during World War II. It’s worth losing a little shut-eye to capture the morning glow of sunrise over this beauty. After admiring the sunrise, walk across the bridge and enjoy a caffe. Then stroll through the high-end jewelry shops situated right on the bridge. Ya never know, you could return with some Florentine gold.
7. Explore, explore, explore!
And when you are done exploring, explore some more! Don’t be afraid to get lost. All signs and roads lead to the Duomo!
8. Gelato, gelato, gelato
What’s a visit to Florence without your daily dose of gelato? We were told by our tour guide from Custom Florence Tours, that Perche no was the BEST gelateria in Florence. Judging by the lines, I guess this is no secret! Perche no has been serving Florence since 1939 and is known for its assortment of unique flavors. I’m a Plain Jane and stick to coconut and pistachio!
9. Experience the Cibrio Teatro del Sale
Definitely add the Cibrio Teatro del Sale to your itinerary. It’s off the beaten path but is a hidden gem. It’s both a restaurant and theatre. Yes, first you mangia, buffet style. A glass wall separates you from the kitchen and chefs. As each course is ready to be devoured the chef rings a bell, announces the dish and everyone scurries to taste. Lots of good food and value here. For a mere $37.00 per person, plus a $7.00 membership fee, you’ll eat and drink to your heart’s content. Yes, you read that correctly, unlimited red wine is included in the price.
Then, once dinner is over the dining room is quickly transformed into a theatre. The night we visited we were treated to Flamenco music.
10. Enjoy the many piazzas
Florence is full of piazzas. Each one is full of cafes and restaurants where you can sit and sip vino or have a caffe and enjoy the views. If you are a people watcher, like me, you will feel like a kid in a candy shop here!
Don’t miss the Piazza della Signoria which is the political heart and town hall of Florence. It’s right next to the Uffizi gallery and houses many famous statues. Timing is everything in life and we actually experienced a live news conference there last month.