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As soon as we arrived in Florence, we knew there was something unique about this city. Everything clicked – it was love at first sight. Florence had everything we had dreamed of Italy, from its gorgeous alleys and squares to the best gelato we had tasted in all of the country and very friendly people.
Florence the perfect Italian city
I know that’s a big claim, but what else can you say when there’s really nothing you wish was different?
There was so much to love about Florence that it was hard to take it all in for just two days…
Florence – Italian Perfection and Charm The Views
From cathedrals and palaces to squares and statues, the city is overflowing with masterpieces in the styles of the Renaissance, Gothic, and Neo-Classical periods – be prepared to have a sore neck after a day out from your head constantly twisting from side to side!
One of my favorites was Ponte Vecchio, a bridge unlike anything I’ve ever seen before; shops are built along both sides of the medieval stone bridge, many with an extension so that the shops hang over the river.
These types of bridges were once quite common, but today very few are left.
While the bridge is pretty to look at, don’t buy anything from the jewelry shops as they’re quite over-priced.
For the best view overlooking Florence and the Tuscan hills, head up to Piazzale Michelangelo.
You can easily walk up the hill and steps leading up to the viewpoint.
Florence is a captivating city, with narrow winding medieval alleys that somehow always seem to lead to the Duomo, the most iconic building in Florence.
In fact the streets are so narrow that the citizens have adapted to the size by driving tiny cars in order to get around.
Even the trucks are miniature sized!
And of course there are also more vespas and scooters than you could possibly count.
We actually tried counting the parked scooters on a street but gave up!
Our favorite thing to do in Florence was sitting down on the outside seating of a cafe on one of the many beautiful little Piazzas (squares).
Order a cappuccino and take in the atmosphere.
Italians pride themselves on their fresh, delicious food, and Florence is no exception.
Every meal we had was pure perfection, from the Italian ice cream to the vegetarian lasagna.
Best of all – unlike some other cities in Italy, you don’t have to seek out the good places to get good food.
The local coffee shop around the corner would serve cheap Focaccias that in any other country would be labeled “gourmet”, and the tiny Trattorias on the side streets served cappuccinos good enough for even the pickiest of coffee fanatics – which we were well on our way to become..!
Simply put, Italians know food, and in Florence you get real Italian food for honest prices, and you won’t find any frozen veggies on your pizza or other tourist tricks!
We’ll post an article in a few weeks on how to find the perfect Italian Gelato, but for those visiting Florence, I’ll give you a hint:
Le Parigine (Via Dei Servi 41).
We happened to stumble upon this gem and haven’t had a better Gelato since!
What To Do In Florence
Florence is known as one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, but a visit without any planning could end up being a nightmare.
If you don’t know what to do in Florence, chances are your experience in the city won’t be very memorable.
But a little bit of planning before hand and researching what to do in Florence will change everything.
Here are some suggestions of what to do in Florence.
Tuscany is famous for its vineyards and delicious wine, and while it’s certainly worth visiting Chianti or other of the famous wine regions, if you don’t have much time you can try the wine tasting experience in Florence at Piazza del Vino!
You get to try 4 local Tuscan wines paired with some light hors d’oeuvres.
Indulge in Gelato
It would almost be a crime to visit Italy and not have some Italian gelato… no matter what season you’re going!
Legend has it that ice cream was actually invented in Italy thousands of years ago.
Today there are gelaterias around every corner of Florence.
One of the very best places is Grom.
It’s a gelateria from Torino.
It has opened up many shops in just a few years both across Italy as well as in Manhattan, Paris and Tokyo.
The reason why they’re so good and so popular is because they offer high-quality ice cream made with natural ingredients.
They make their chocolate ice cream with cocoa beans from Columbia and Venezuela.
Their pistachio ice cream with pistachios from Sicily or Syria and so on.
The fruit gelato they offer changes according to the season.
Every month you’ll find a new flavor of the month.
You won’t be short of options when it comes to accommodation.
However, you might find that it’s more difficult than it seems.
Many of the places book up early, and some are extremely expensive depending on when you go.
Make sure you get a nice place to stay for a reasonable price.
It should be easier for your to find the perfect accommodation for your trip.
While you are learning about some of the famous people from Florence, be sure to go to the Uffizi Gallery.
It’s one of the must-visits in Florence and one of the oldest and most famous museums on earth.
With over 1,5 million visitors a year, Uffizi Gallery is Italy’s second most visited museum after the Vatican Museums in Rome, and it can be a real pain if you don’t plan ahead.
Being the birthplace of the Renaissance, much of the best art from that period can be found in this museum.
If you go during the high season, the lines to get in can be hours long.
Some good advice is to pre-book tickets (although reservations cost another €4).
Palaces and Piazzas
Florence is almost like an open-air museum.
There is so much beautiful architecture and monuments that you don’t really need to visit a museum.
Many of the palaces, squares and monuments are masterpieces of their own.
Some of the top places to visit are Andrea di Cambio and Brunelleschi.
Hopefully this will help you decide what to do in Florence, and keep in mind to leave a little bit of your itinerary free for spontaneity!
Tuscany: Fantastic Wine is Only the Beginning. Top Things to Do in Tuscany
There are incredible things to do in Tuscany.
Tuscany is a region of central Italy which many people know for its wine.
Many types of wine!
These include Chianti, Morellino di Scansano, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Yet there is more to Tuscany than just incredible wine.
Tourists also come to the Tuscany region for its beautiful landscapes and rich history.
Tuscany is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has had a substantial and lasting influence on art, architecture, music and high culture.
The capital city of Florence is home to some of the most amazing historical landmarks as well as quintessential gothic architecture and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
Top unique things to do in Tuscany
While the wine and cuisine is an experience in itself, there are a few more “not to miss” experiences while in Tuscany.
Beneath the region of Tuscany are some of the world’s most impressive natural hot springs – and the locals have been taking advantage of them for centuries.
In addition, you can find open air natural hot spring baths all over the region.
Terme di Saturnia is one of the more well known areas for natural hot springs.
Tuscany Road Trip on a Vespa
Remember, getting off of the beaten path in Tuscany can be just as rewarding as visiting the major cities like Florence and Pisa.
Truly, it’s an incredible experience.
The region contains some of the most stunning Italian landscapes.
You can enjoy beautiful smaller towns all along the rolling countryside.
There’s the cliff-top village of Pitigliano and the ancient town of Volterra.
Be sure to build in time in your itinerary to take in the view – and the wine.
Museo dell’Opera del Duomo
It’s hard not to mention at least one of the museums when talking about Tuscany.
The Musea dell’Opera del Duomo is one of many museums located in bustling Florence – and one not to miss!
It contains most of the art that was originally created for the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore – the cathedral of Florence and includes some of the most important sculptures in the world:
Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise
Donatello and Luca della Robbia’s Cantorie
Michelangelo’s Florence Pietà
Donatello’s Mary Magdalen
Andrea Pisano’s reliefs for the Belltower
Where there are so many interesting things to do in Tuscany, whatever you choose, you will have a memorable adventure.